• Nelson
  • Photos: John-Paul Pochin
  • WINNER: 2009 Te Kāhui Whaihanga New Zealand Institute of Architects

The challenge was to convert a small tired old 1950s building into an authentic Japanese dining experience, on a limited budget. Brendon’s approach was to work within the building envelope, keep the services in their original locations, but otherwise gut the interior.

Having lived and worked in Japan for several years, Brendon had visited many boutique sushi establishments so this project was made to order.

Inside, timber slats are used to separate the reception from the main dining area allowing visitors a glimpse in without impinging on the privacy of other diners. A combination of dressed timber finishes, shoji screens and subtly textured paint surfaces are complemented by discrete LED lighting. Care was taken to integrate services, lighting and built in joinery, all designed by Brendon. The sushi bar’s direct lighting and plain surfaces allow the food and its preparation take centre stage.

Awards: N.Z.I.A. Nelson/Marlb Design Award 2009, Master Builders gold medal 2009

This project was designed by Brendon during his time at Arthouse Architecture.