Will Speros •
November 29, 2018


Photography by Michinori Aoki

German chef Thomas Frebel, who was previously head of research at Noma, has introduced Inua, a new dining concept in Tokyo that draws its name from the Inuit term for the “life force that runs through nature.” The 7,530-square-foot eatery occupies the ninth floor of a structure in the city’s Iidabashi neighborhood. Denmark studio OEO Studio handled the design, which is influenced by Japanese culture and the Scandinavian culinary background of the chef.

Preserving only the structural core walls and the glazed front façade, the design team adorned the ceiling with square fabric panels in a grid-like configuration that mirrors traditional tatami mats. Timber floorboards contrast a concrete walkway that leads to the entrance. Oversized paper lanterns and white, cloud-like pendants by artist Celine Wright illuminate the slate gray interior, which is offset by greenery. Bespoke tables in the dining room complement additional geometric forms near the front of the house meant to mimic the appearance of stepping stones within a pool of a Japanese-style garden.

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