WAKUDA Las Vegas
Par : Rockwell Group
GRANDS PRIX DU DESIGN – 16e édition
Discipline : Design d’intérieur
Catégories : Hébergement, restaurant & bar / Restaurant > 1 600 pi2 (> 500 m2) : Certification OR
Miami-based 50 Eggs Hospitality Group has partnered with acclaimed two-Michelin-star Japanese chef Tetsuya Wakuda on a second branch of their new concept restaurant, WAKUDA. Located within the Grand Canal Shops at The Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas, it will follow the opening of the WAKUDA—also designed by Rockwell Group—in the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore. WAKUDA Las Vegas marks the chef’s first restaurant in the United States.
Our concept was informed by the exhilarating tension between traditional and modern Japanese aesthetics. The beauty of hand-craftsmanship and the serenity of natural elements is played against the energy and spontaneity found in Tokyo’s Shinjuku neighborhood, a place where artists, musicians, and creative industry types mix in a series of small, often exclusive bars and restaurants. Our design is an exploration of layered textures and materials: rich walnut, charred wood, and rough stone surfaces contrast mirrored and metallic elements, while neon installations form a visual bridge representing both Tokyo and Las Vegas. Numerous works by contemporary Japanese artists—including large-scale sculptures of sumo wrestlers by Shohei Otomo—are found throughout.
WAKUDA is located in the Venetian Hotel on the Las Vegas strip. Guests arrive through a traditional moon gate entryway within a soaring, dramatically-lit wood wall. Guests are greeted by a glass-enclosed cherry blossom surrounded by lanterns, which mirrors a neon light installation, highlighting the beauty of nature and harnessing the energy of Tokyo and Las Vegas. Inside, golden metal inlays in the stone tile floor act as a pathway, leading guests through a series of intimate spaces, each radiating a feeling of a discovery.
It begins in the wood-clad Entry room featuring an organic and monolithic charred wood and metal desk beneath a floating neon sign that greets patrons and beckons them to explore further. This leads on to the sophisticated, club-like Bar and Lounge space, filled with nature-inspired elements, such as dark woods and a cherry blossom wallcovering, and contemporary artwork, the latter featuring modern takes on traditional Japanese imagery.
Off the Lounge is the Main Dining area, with a light wood ceiling, inspired by traditional Japanese wood joinery techniques, interspersed with stacked pendant lights reminiscent of traditional paper lanterns. The room is divided into two intimate spaces by Otomo’s wrestler sculptures grappling beneath a custom fixture inspired by a zen circle. Furniture is contemporary and contrasts with earthy details such as textured stone flooring with a tatami-like effect. From here, one can access the terrace, where diners sit behind a wall of bamboo that provides both privacy and a natural contrast to the modern bustle beyond.
Finally, VIP guests will pass through a discreet door into the Secret Bar, Omakase area, and Private Dining Room (the PDR also has its own separate entrance). Details of kumiko, a traditional wood joinery technique wherein panels are fitted together to create geometric or floral patterns, acts as a language connecting the Secret Bar and Omakase area. The smallest and mysteriously-lit of the spaces, the Secret Bar features primordial textures plus abundant millwork with kumiko panel details. Patrons can enjoy a drink at the dramatically backlit bar, or proceed to the Omakase area to sample delicacies while contemplating the gestural brushstroke artwork by Jun Inoue.
Not far from this private haven is a space inspired by one of the oldest temples in Tokyo, the Senso-ji Temple in the Asakusa district of Tokyo. A giant lantern decorated with a koi pattern is suspended above, illuminating not only the wood clad walls but also guests eager to document and share the experience.