Cocoro by Gascoigne Associates

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New Zealand architects Gascoigne Associates have completed this Japanese restaurant lined with wooden slats in Auckland, New Zealand.

Called Cocoro (meaning ‘heart and soul’ in Japanese), the restaurant is located in a former warehouse.

Wooden slats hang over the exposed concrete walls and ceiling, with LED lighting and sound insulation concealed between them.

Cocoro Restaurant

Cocoro is located in an old industrial warehouse in Brown Street, Ponsonby, Auckland, New Zealand

Cocoro means ‘heart and soul’ in Japanese. The restaurant can be classed as modern Japanese and offers a degustation style menu including Japanese style tapas.

The intimate décor includes large squares of woven charcoal and chocolate carpet, reminiscent of subtle tatami-style matting. This subtle checkerboard pattern is also found back in Cocoro’s menus.Clark Pritchard had the pleasure of working with the owners on the interior of the restaurant to create an environment that is natural, modern and comfortable. All of the selected materials are recyclable and the contemporary space is suitable for both lunch and dinner and compliments the tapas style menu with its simplicity.

Circular graphics, found back in the restaurant’s logo, have been printed on the up-lit black walls and the large six metre long Macrocarpa dining table in the middle of the room has been cut from a single tree and invites guests to dine side by side. The ceilings are sandblasted exposed concrete, lined with Macrocarpa batons integrating LED downlights and sound studio foam for acoustics.

Battens hang against the raw exposed concrete ceiling and above the lines of banquet seating on each sidewall and the communal table in the centre, subtly hiding LED downlights which place the focus on the food.

The rectangular slot window in the back wall allows diners to see into the quiet and efficient kitchen.

Photographs are by Patrick Reynolds.

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