An Asian signature restaurant overlooking the Persian Gulf
Kokaistudios is delighted to announce the opening of our most recent project with Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts; the Sintoho Asian fine dining restaurant located on the top floor of the newly built Four Seasons Kuwait in the Burj Alshaya building. Having previously worked together on the Brasserie at the Four Seasons Kyoto the Four Seasons team invited Kokaistudios to conceive an innovative F&B destination that could elevate the street foods of the cities of Singapore, Tokyo and Hong Kong into a fine dining destination and experience.
Intrigued by the concept and the location in a city with no established tradition of Asian fine dining we set about creating a temple to Asian cuisine and craftsmanship that eschewed kitschy and thematic styles and aimed for the creation of an essential and refreshing space in which the dining experience is influenced both by the architecture of the space and the food offering.
The restaurant design was conceived first and foremost around the idea of celebrating the diversity and excellence of Asian cuisine and creating spaces and opportunities for the guests to experience the sights, smells and tastes of these food cultures up close.
We searched for commonalities between the cultures in order to come up with a design language to unite them and we took our inspiration less from the current nature of the individual countries but rather from the historical role that Chinese culture has played over time throughout Asia and how those influences continue to be part of everyday life.
The entrance area of the restaurant features a long corridor flanked on one side by an expansive green wall filled primarily with local desert plant varietals and on the other by a series of custom designed water towers which combine to create a cooling and soothing experience. The corridor finishes in a tea wall fronted by an elaborate carved wood tea station where guests can select an expansive choice of fine teas.
To the right of the entrance corridor sits the main open dining area on the right that features expansive 12 meter high ceilings that offers expansive views of the city and the Persian Gulf beyond. The front dining area center features a series of custom designed furniture for which we cooperated with Kyoto based artisans and the area is hemmed by an extensive shousugi ban burnt wood sushi counter inlaid with hand hammered brass. The soft lighting in the area comes from the series of water drop glass pendants produced by the London based artisans DHLiberty Lux.
The rest of the public area seating is centered largely around the individual open live cooking stations where guests can experience up-close the preparation of robatta, teppanyaki, and dim sum and other delicacies from Hong Kong which have been clad by hand-hammered metal hoods and sculpted stone bases featuring images and motifs typical inspired by classical designs found in China.
The strong inter-play between the main materials of wood, stone, and hand-finished metals is thrown a curve by the insertion of a 3D feature wall made of exposed concrete forms that runs the length of the kitchen wall and has been designed using parametric principles and its undulating form appears as a dynamic wave while being in actuality a straight structure.
The private dining rooms are an ode to Chinese embroidery craftsmanship with bespoke chairs and walls featuring hand-printed linen fabric albeit with a wink to principal designer Filippo Gabbiani’s home town of Venice via the use of the Fortuny silk pendant lamps and red Murano glass inlays.
The bathrooms are an experience in and of themselves as we cooperated with a Shanghai based video production team Flatmind to create a series of Chinese shadow video installations that are projected on the grey hand hammered Chinese stone.
The outdoor seating areas that are shared with the neighboring Italian restaurant Dai Forni; also designed by Kokaistudios; feature a stunning glass sculpture from London based artisans Duffy.
The design of this project is a new step in Kokaistudios method of combining a strong architectural approach to the design of interiors with an original use of materials and light to create unexpected subtle emphatic feeling between the space and the people; handcrafted materials shaped and controlled up to the finest detail interact and interplay with the both the day and night light and reveal an incredibly expressive power.