Japanese Gourmet Temple by BEHF Architects
The Japanese gourmet restaurant Shiki (Japanese: “Seasons”) is located in the heart of Vienna. Together with its building contractor, the famous musician and conductor Joji Hattori, BEHF Architects has developed an architectural concept which combines Japanese tradition with cosmopolitan presence.
Using few puristic and high-quality materials, BEHF Architects creates spaces of sensual minimalism. Facilities of sustainable, clear mahogany wood, details of bronzed brass and handmade paper in continuously simple and clear shapes define a soft and elegant ambience of the 300 square meter guest area. It is split into an entree, a comfortable bar and brasserie, which mirrors the bright and wide kitchen area.
The flooring of light-coloured lime sandstone connects the bar and brasserie with each other as does the ceiling, which is lined throughout with handmade, coloured Japan paper. The architects and the client travelled twice to Tokyo where they visited the workshops at Nao Paper, an old-established paper manufacturer. The architects learned the traditional technique of paper-hanging using a paste made from wheat bran.
Behind the reception desk and and around the corner with an impressive wine cabinet, an L-shaped corridor leads into the more intimate Fine Dining area. First, however, it widens to form a niche where the Chef’s Table with a view to the kitchen stands. The niche is lined with fabric with an avian motif from the collection of Kazu Huggler. The carpet in the fine dining area is also printed with a motif based on an old fabric pattern from the archive of Kazu Huggler.
Two neighbouring separees offer entrance to a Japanese garden. The production of these space sequences of discreetly mirroring lacquered walls, soft-mud, planted walls with effective shadow gaps behind a slender grid of bronze underline the emotional, sensual combination of different worlds, inner and outer, tradition and modernity. This architectural principle creates both an inviting, pleasant as well as a discreet and timeless atmosphere in which the guests may enjoy exquisite food and selected beverages.
Over one hundred guests can be seated in the restaurant. The outdoor area offers 50 more seats in the summer time.
Shiki is the first Japanese restaurant in Austria to be awarded a Michelin star.