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YOD Design Lab's gastronomy of spicy interiors for an Asian restaurant

Spices are more than just flavourings in Asia - the inspiration behind Spicy NoSpicy, a restaurant and bar in Kyiv, Ukraine, conceived by YOD Design Lab.

by Zohra Khan May 24, 2019

Of all aspects, from food to furniture, design to aesthetics, spices find a fundamental expression in Spicy NoSpicy – “not only in taste, but also in the interior,” say the designers at Kyiv based commercial studio, YOD Design Lab. The project references an eclectic mix of Asian influences, uniquely put together to offer a highly sensorial gastronomic experience.

The space is planned as a continuous open layout, largely divided into three sections - kitchen, bar and the dining space. The kitchen sits within the expanse without any walled enclosure, thus making visible the engrossing sights of cooking with myriad flavours; while a contact bar positioned in the center overlooks the adjoining street.

Dramatic play of textures and patterns in the interior Photo Credit: Andriy Bezuglov

The interiors are warm and saturated, emulating notes from sunny Vietnam. Held from below the ceiling, 600 decorative bamboo fishing nets are clustered to create a dramatic installation. Directional light fixtures are positioned within the grid ceiling, from where light filters through the baskets and gets reflected onto the walls as graphic shadow silhouettes. As evening approaches, these patterns are replicated by a series of 8 wooden columns supporting the ceiling, drawing darkened lines across the beautifully etched surfaces. These ephemeral motifs add a heady richness to the otherwise bare surfaces using them as ‘a clean canvas for a picture of the shadows’.

While the main space is homogenously held together with a singular design intent, the washroom areas witness a rather sudden change - a chic pattern of vertical lines on the walls stand in juxtaposition to the continuous arrangement of wicker baskets on the rest of the ceiling.

Light reflecting through the wicker baskets create abstract shadows on walls Photo Credit: Andriy Bezuglov

Just like it is imperative to achieve the perfect balance of flavours and ingredients in Asian cuisine, the design of this restaurant has worked in the same way. “The wood of a neutral warm color is balanced by cold aluminum panels with a matte finish, and bright decorative blotches (grids on the ceiling, green plants, carving on columns), like spices in dishes add completeness to the whole image,” describe the designers. The furniture too, akin to a classic Vietnamese restaurant, is kept proportionally understated. At the end of the dining hall, an assortment of Asian spices in rounded glass containers are studded onto a wall – symbolic of the main ingredients in Spicy NoSpicy.

  • Rounded glass containers with an array of asian spices create an impressive installationPhoto Credit: Andriy Bezuglov
  • Black matte finished aluminium panels cut the encompassing warmth Photo Credit: Andriy Bezuglov
  • Exterior Photo Credit: Andriy Bezuglov
  • Layout Plan Image Credit: Courtesy of YOD Design Lab

Like the idea of spatial gastronomy (in case such a science exists!), it can be said that the discipline of interior design fuses with the sensitivity of modern cooking in Spicy NoSpicy. Eclectic forms, materials, textures and silhouettes when fueled in balanced proportions come together to create this scrumptious fare of Asia-inspired interiors.

Project Details

Official Name of the Project: Spicy NoSpicy
Location: Kyiv, Ukraine
Area: 200 sqm
Year of Completion: 2018
Interior Design: YOD Design Lab

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About Author

Zohra Khan

Zohra Khan

A formal education in architecture combined with an avid interest in architecture journalism and design criticism led Khan to professionally venture into writing and researching. She has worked in design communication for more than two years, generating content for mondo*arc india journal. When not writing, she kicks back by dabbling on social media for STIR.

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