Online Exclusive - SUSHISAMBA, LondonSep 25, 2012
By Ashleigh VanHouten
A SUSHISAMBA restaurant and lounge occupy the 38th and 39th floors, while new 24/7 concept Duck & Waffle inhabits the 40th floor. The common thread running through all three levels: a melding of Japanese and Brazilian themes combined with British influences.
The main dining room, with its dramatic 24-foot-high ceiling of asymmetrical arched lattice bamboo with a strong geometric pattern expresses the tropical textures of Brazil; Japanese elements are reflected in a black and white geometric-patterned floor, calligraphy details, and hand-wrought wooden shelves displaying ceramics and pottery; and a British sensibility is incorporated in Duck & Waffle, where warm materials include antiqued crackle wall tiles, darkened bronze and textured glass walls, and block-ended wood floors. The dining experience continues outdoors thanks to terraces with panoramic views to the east and west.
Continuity throughout the large, multi-cultural space is achieved via a sweeping, three-story sculptural orange glass and metal staircase, complemented by a multi-color reclaimed wood wall, hanging greenery, and 70 antique chandeliers. A 30-foot-high orange tree sculpture, and street art created by Brazilian graffiti artist Felipe Yung aka Flip, also weave throughout the space.
“One of the design challenges of the space was a lack of solid walls,” Ruddy adds. “SUSHISAMBA has a gridded Mondrian wall in all of their properties; it’s part of their DNA. Our challenge in London was to create a next-generation version of this element that also maximized the dramatic city views.” The answer? A 25-foot-long three-dimensional glass sculpture of translucent variegated glass boxes in the brand’s signature colors (red, yellow, orange, and green) to filter the London skyline.