In a first joint foray into restaurant design, New York architecture firm ODA, and branding agency IF Studio, create Satya Eastern Kitchen.
In creating Satya Eastern Kitchen, ODA begins at the core -- the gathering of people and the cultural influences of the meal. Expressing the vivid Asian Fusion concept, Satya Eastern Kitchen’s theme focuses around the main dish, exemplified in its logo (the Asian characters for “skewer”) which is depicted on various custom forms throughout the restaurant.
The guiding design principle of the 3,000 sq ft restaurant is shaped by combining the nostalgic aspects of Asian heritage within the pop culture urban context. Spanning the interior of the restaurant is a series of feature walls surrounding the seating area. This element is created by the printing of artistically interpreted male and female imagery on bands of reclaimed wood with a traditional calligraphy overlay. This technique achieves a modern mosaic effect; a nod to traditional, hand-carved Asian menus.
The light fixtures are another prominent custom feature, with oversized drum shades and custom stretcher bearing the distinctive logo or brand of Satya Eastern Kitchen. Due to the ceiling height of the industrial space, the elegant yet simplistic lighting fixtures are suspended in rows along the ceiling, blurring away the loftiness creating a more distinct and intimate dining space.
To complement the use of natural materials and ground the soaring industrial setting, bright red chairs are selected to accent the dining seating; again, taking a modern approach to the traditional red seen in Asian culture which is typically associated with the element of fire and symbolic of good fortune.
Inspired by the neighborhood and its connection to the theatre, is the contemporary open kitchen. Patrons of the restaurant may engage with the chefs while watching a culinary performance in the mastery of their knife skills and fresh preparation of food.
Food and atmosphere are the most important part of Satya Eastern Kitchen’s take on serving up smart food fast. It was essential to the client to find exciting ways to create focal points emanating from the bustling theatre district of Times Square without the typical grab-and-go or counter-style eatery for people on the run. By unifying design elements through the cultural influences, reclaimed wood and timbers offset against the vibrant backdrop of the custom murals, these factors are combined creating an authentic Asian experience, in an expressive, honest, and modern approach to fast dining.