American white oak helps to build a brand for London's new Yoobi Sushi Restaurant

News Infurma15/02/2013

The restaurant aims to reflect the character of major cities Rio de Janeiro, Tokyo and London. Their brand strategy created by Ico Design is founded on four key values inspired by the geographical influences: the energy of South America, the contemporary artistic flair of London, the respect of Japanese culture and ‘Simpatico’ which is common to all.

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Yoobi is London's first temakeria restaurant which recently opened in April 2012 on Lexington Street in Soho. To reflect Yoobi's brand through its restaurant interior, Ico Design partnered with London-based interior-architects Gundry & Ducker and Yoobi co-founder Carolina Rodrigues to create a contemporary interior using American white oak panelling, punctuated with an inlaid brass line that playfully follows the contours over the walls and furniture.

Gundry & Ducker's design incorporates ‘playful’ Rio, ’respectful’ Tokyo and ‘artistic’ London. To start, the former warehouse was stripped back to its original brick still visible beneath the new grey paint work. White oak panelling was inserted and folded into simple benches, plinths and counters. Veneer patterns were then inlaid into the timber lining which appear like shadows cast from the objects in the room. Gundry & Ducker sought to achieve a lining that was ‘simple in form but rich in detail’, another favourable characteristic of white oak. White oak is used for the flooring, architectural joinery and panelling and gives the dining area a warm yet bright ambience creating a balance against the white sushi bar, on-brand colour inlays in tables, and the chairs so as not to overwhelm the diners.

Brass lines at regular intervals are inlaid into the floor and follow the marquetry patterns. Lighting fittings protrude out of the white oak boxing enhancing the creamy, light brown tones of the timber.

The focal point of the temakeria is a pristine pure white crystalline counter that encircles the area where the temaki is prepared. Built with the influence of Japanese precision, it creates a strong visual contrast with the warmth of the white oak interior.

To add the final flare Ico Design designed bespoke pink, lime and orange patterned tables were fitted which offer the customers visual colours based on fresh seafood and reflect the Yoobi branding and graphics.

Taking inspiration from Brazil, Yoobi pushes the sushi experience in an exciting new direction in a sleek and playful dining space. Freshly made temaki rolls, featuring uniquely developed flavour combinations, the Gundry & Ducker ‘Yoobi Sushi’ restaurant is worth a visit.

American white oak (Quercus spp.)

American white oak has a creamy coloured sapwood and a light to dark brown heartwood. White oak is mostly straight grained with a medium to coarse texture, with longer rays than red oak, producing a distinctive and attractive grain pattern.

American white oak is widely available and is a popular choice in export markets around the world for many furniture, flooring and joinery manufacturers due to its colour consistency and the high volume of square edged lumber production, and veneer availability. The wood is hard and heavy, with medium bending and crushing strength. It is low in stiffness, but very good in steam bending.

To be used externally without preservation a timber has to have a minimum durability rating of Class 3, moderately durable. American white oak meets these requirements. As with all timber, if sapwood is present then preservative treatment will be required.

Source: American Hardwood Export Council

Photography: Hufton & Crow

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