Labics have worked with Obikà on the design of every one of their worldwide chain of restaurants, giving the brand a consistent visual identity which is adapted to suit each new location and context. The clean, contemporary styling of the restaurants provides a suitable foil for the fresh artisanal ingredients and relaxed ambience typical of the Obikà experience.
At Obikà Canary Wharf the design responds directly to the setting of the restaurant within the expansive glazed volume of the West Wintergarden, a large public conservatory at the heart of the Canary Wharf business district. This is a corporate, somewhat impersonal, space and Labics’ design therefore sets out to define a more intimate space within it – effectively a building within a building. This contrasts with the kiosks designed by Labics for Obikà at Milan Malpensa airport and at the IBM Building in New York, which are conceived more as ‘objects’ within the space.
A wide, 510mm high platform, together with a large cantilevered canopy, establishes the restaurant’s presence, these volumes providing a sense of solidity and enclosure within the transparency of the surrounding space whilst still allowing the customer to see out. The materials and built elements are drawn from the kit of parts devised by Labics as part of the overall Obikà concept: glass for the display cases, black resin for the floor, metal for all vertical surfaces, laquered black wood for the benches and stainless steel for preparation areas and equipment.
The 250sqm restaurant will form a new meeting point for the working and tourist populations of Canary Wharf and provides space for formal sit-down dining as well as more informal counter seating and a takeaway.