A glimpse of the new Wasabi design A glimpse of the new Wasabi design

The new Wasabi outlet, which will serve Japanese cuisine, is due to open in early 2012 in Kuwait, and draws its inspiration from the traditional paper folding techniques of origami and kirigami.

It is being designed by Thomas Klein International (TKI) and will be located in Wattiya – one of Kuwait’s oldest and most picturesque areas, which is currently under renovation by the government.

“We have used two of the most traditional and sophisticated Japanese art forms of paper manipulation as inspiration for the design of the restaurant,” explained architect Paula Palombo.

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“The ancient art techniques of origami and kirigami are used both literally and metaphorically in crafting the multiple spaces in the restaurant.

"The restaurant is divided into three main seating areas, across two levels, and each area is defined by a different spatial ‘fold’ that is unique in colour and material. The three different folds are comprised of wood, metal and textile respectively.

“The applied techniques on the surfaces create a variety of unique textures and structures that allow the building’s services such as the lighting and air conditioning to become an integral part of the textured walls and ceilings folds,” added Palombo.

The ground floor of the restaurant will feature two different types of seating: stand alone tables with chairs, as well as long benches and communal tables with stools. The second floor will house two private dining rooms that can be combined into one, as well as a private outdoor dining area on the terrace.

“The outdoor terraces will also feature calming pools and water features, as well as hydroponic beds for growing Wasabi plants, which will later be used freshly in the food served,” said Daniel During, managing director of TKI.

“We have also designed the system so that the water from the dehumidifiers and condensers is collected and used to water the plants and to refill the pools.”

“Furthermore, the wood ‘fold’ is constructed of a unique bamboo composite and both the metal and fabric folds are made of recycled materials which can also be recycled in the future, thereby adding to the sustainable theme of the design,” said During.

The Sultan Group, which owns Wasabi, already has four other outlets as part of its portfolio.

Once opened, the new Wasabi restaurant will set the benchmark in design for any additional Wasabi outlets launched, and all the existing Wasabi outlets will be transformed to match the new brand image and positioning.

The Wasabi chain of restaurants is owned and managed by the Epicure Group, the food and beverage division of The Sultan Group.