If you believe in the popular misconception that wood and other natural materials give rooms a “rustic” feel, think again! In the modern age, designers are finding innovative ways to introduce natural wood to the hospitality world without sacrificing a sleek, upscale aesthetic. You're sure to love these unique applications of a very traditional material. We can't help but imagine how well these materials would pair with ambient backlighting!
Office dA, a Boston-based architecture firm, had the challenge of creating a one-of-a-kind interior for BanQ, a French-inspired restaurant with a Southeast Asian twist. The architects utilized the beauty and flexibility of natural wood to balance the sophisticated atmosphere of a French establishment with the exotic flair of an Asian bistro. Opting to “radicalize the difference between the ground and sky,” the designers chose to make the ceiling the focal point of the space. The experimental project was created using a simple CNC milling device, which resulted in luxurious waves at an economical price. Light and shadow play an important role in the perception of the wave forms.
Perched on a cliff overlooking the ocean in Bali, some might say The Warung could put interior décor on the back-burner, allowing mother nature to become the primary design element. WoHA Architects made a compromise, and relied on natural wood to blend the interior and exterior environments while simultaneously recalling traditional Indonesian and Balinese building materials. While precise wood perforations in the upper level act as a daylight filter, white walls at eye level allow the tropical scenery to captivate diners.
SCDA Architects took advantage of the tropical Southwest Pacific climate in Cotta Restaurant, purposely blurring the boundaries between the dining room and the beach into one enormous space. Delicate pieces of overhead wood give the dining area a sense of enclosure, and local trees are repurposed as tables. By laminating the oversized wood tables, designers were able to achieve a sophisticated look that seamlessly integrates into the natural setting.
Link S Suspended Lamp
Rather than designing a site-specific light fixture, Lzf lamps has launched a line of handcrafted lights made exclusively out of natural wood. These exquisite lamps utilize the internal beauty of wood to radiate warm light throughout its surroundings, casting unique shadows on adjacent surfaces. With graceful curves and a variety of wood tones available, the Link S suspended lamp will continue to hang in upscale restaurants around the globe.
Allowing the food of world-renowned chef, Carlos Abellán, to be the star of the restaurant, Isabel Lopez Vilata took a minimalist approach to the interior décor of Bravo 24 in Barcelona, Spain. By organizing simple lumber in an ornate geometrical pattern, the restaurant retains an open, modest appearance with a sophisticated flair. Plush seating and white linens gives an added warmth to the space, while also serving to counteract the hard surfaces of the walls, floors, and ceilings.
From rustic to chic, it's clear that the wood carries endless design opportunities. As material technology advances and creativity abounds, we can't wait to see what designers are going to try next!
Credits: ArchRecord, LZF Lamps, Isabel Lopez Vilalta