When we were approached by the Domus Group to design their flagship restaurant, ZORO, at the La Promenade mall – we knew that a strong, unique identity had to be reflected in the restaurant’s interior environment. Taking cues from the signature Domus Group’s roots, we dived deeper into the owner’s aspirations for ZORO and worked together to form a design brief that became one of the main driving forces of the design. Delving into the fusion culinary experience, ZORO is a representation of the dual nature and contrast between the East and the West. This made us think about those in-between moments where day becomes night, and night becomes day – the sunset and sunrise. Combining this with the ‘stillness’ of a static space, we sought to create an enigmatic, dream-like environment that would enhance the overall dining and culinary experience.
The space that ZORO occupies is one of the largest in the mall – it has a panoramic outdoor view of the sky and a soaring 5 metre height ceiling. Inspired by the colours of the sky found during the sunset/sunrise moments, our colour and materials palette was kept minimal so as to enhance the openness of the space. The bar, central banquette dining and surrounding wall arches were designed as focal areas that help to guide and ground the space. Although the abstract nature of the shapes and geometry found in the space evoke familiar memories of places, the use of non-typical construction methods and materials such as paper tubes lend an unexpected element to the restaurant’s interior environment.
Combined with careful spatial planning as well as a comprehensive understanding of the design brief, ZORO is the result of a collaboration between two different art forms and is an example of how simple ideas, humble materials and forms can still create powerful and meaningful interior and built environments.