10 Jun 2021 • Hospitality
Betwin Space Design devises a theatre-like hospitality experience in Seoul
A part of the city’s Glad Hotel, Kappo Akii is a sensuous restaurant space in which no two areas are the same.
A composition of different visual scenes, Kappo Akii’s interior includes a gate, corridor, hall, bar, room, kitchen and service area. Diners descend into the restaurant by elevator from the hotel lobby, and Betwin Space Design wanted to accentuate the feeling of entering another world. Past the transitional corridor, guests are greeted by a circular bar area with an art installation – a lighting pole embedded in a rock – by artist Lee Tae-soo; this entrance is a preview to the sensations and textures present throughout the restaurant. Each area produces these effects differently. One has three giant pillars clad in wood, navy paint and faux marble, while the first room gets its ambience from the use of patterned glass, and the second, plants installed upside down on the ceiling; the service space balances wood and beige finishes. A dark-tone ceiling deepens the atmosphere of immersion, with warm light emanating from diagonal lines.
Escapism is a recurring theme in hospitality venues we’ve covered as of late. Restauranteurs and designers are increasingly seeing the value in welcoming guests into spaces that suspend reality – interiors that not only evoke the senses but totally immerse one in the experience, much like the theatre. Kappo Akii expresses this trend: the designers explain that they want to give diners a unique sensation each time they come to the restaurant. The scene concept and enthralling interior they’ve created work particularly well for a hotel restaurant: the design sets the tone for those who are already seeking a retreat away from home.