British designers Child Studio transformed a former 1960s London post office in St John’s Wood into a Japanese restaurant called Maido.
Maido is the retail experience established in 2016 by the founding members of Atari-Ya, the renowned distributor of Sushi quality seafood at Michelin-starred restaurants across London.
The late modernist post office building provided a rich source of inspiration for the designers who, through the renovation, aimed at respecting and highlighting the heritage of the space.
“We were fascinated by the unique history of this building and aimed to capture the nostalgic atmosphere of 1960s London, paying homage to the modernist public spaces of the era.” commented Alexy Kos and Che Huang, the founders of Child Studio “The design evolved around the bold geometry characteristic of this period and the juxtaposition of simple materials: wood, glass, clay and steel”.
The restaurant’s walls are clad in dark cherry wood paneling while a rotating selection of artwork decorates the shallow alcoves. A grid pattern characterizes the suspended coffered ceiling in a soft blue hue, and the motif continues with the floor, finished in black quarry tiles.
The restaurant’s focal point is the central island bar where the sushi master prepares and serves authentic Japanese dishes. Curved steel panels line the counter, complemented by polished aluminum bar stools designed by Naoto Fukasawa.
A large semicircular glass block wall divides the space and delicately filters the dual aspect daylight. At the same time, the wall forms a generous upholstered leather sofa creating an intimate corner at the back of the space.
“It was important for us to create a range of different seating scenarios and balance the convivial atmosphere with more intimate nooks and crannies” – said Alexy & Che.
The designers selected some mid-century iconic pieces to furnish and accessorize the restaurant. Mies Van Der Rohe‘s antique MR10 tubular steel chairs and Norman Cherner‘s molded plywood armchairs have been chosen as seating. The lighting comprises Pipistrello table lamps designed by Gae Aulenti in 1965 and antique wall lights produced by the Italian manufacturer Stilnovo.
The intersection of Abbey Road, made famous by the eponymous Beatles album cover, is around the corner from the restaurant, offering another glimpse into 1960s London. Sir Paul McCartney lives in the neighborhood, as some other famous Londoners like Kate Moss and Keith Richards.