Nobu, Malibu
Friday 15 Mar 2013


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The new home of celebrity chef and restaurateur Nobu Mastuhisa's restaurant in Malibu, California hovers just over the shoreline with an aura of quiet permanence in a palette rich with teak timbers, meticulous wood detailing and rugged concrete.

Designed for Nobu by French Architects Severine Tatangelo and Alexia Convers of Studio PCH LLC (Malibu) with local architect of record Montalba Architects, Inc. (of Santa Monica), the ground-up project, completed six years after a challenging permitting process, comprised the total redevelopment of the site, from its extensive foundation to the finishing and interior design for the restaurant.

Inspired by Japanese architectural masters, the recently completed and completely board-formed concrete structure is a study in expressive materiality and an achievement in the refined sculpting of bold volumes - the memory of the cedar-formwork is imprinted throughout the building's fundamental forms, carrying an easy, natural simplicity in its reliefed grain.

Away from the hum of the Pacific Coast Highway, the low-lying forms and earthy materials for the 6,200 sq ft structure was derived from the site’s exquisite natural setting on Carbon Beach in Malibu, one of the U.S.’s most sought-after coastline addresses. Beyond the monolithic concrete walls encountered from the highway, once inside, the south facing glass facades bathe the interior spaces in light and open the building up to the expanse of the sea.

Meandering hardwood decks line the sea-side perimeter of the building and provide easily blurred interior and exterior spaces overlooking the sand and the sea. In all directions, picturesque views of the surrounding landscape inform the warm, sandy-coloured tones of the concrete, and the ruddy hardwoods. The interior garden, designed by a Japanese landscaper, emphasizes the journey between spaces, as does the faint burning scent of eucalyptus wood drifting from the massive outdoor fireplaces.

The success of this project was achieved through a collaborative effort between the SPCH / MA design team, the Boston-based contractor Shawmut Design Construction and the vision of the owner, who was engaged throughout the entire process - from the preliminary sketches to the selection and design of the furniture.

Studio PCH LLC

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