Have you heard the saying, ‘Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you who you are.’ After one glimpse at Ichi Station in Milan, I think where you eat also is a big tell on who you are. People who would opt to experience a futuristic, out-of-the-world experience at the Masquespacio-designed Ichi Station are those with a fondness for the interstellar, an appreciator of out-of-the-box (or world) thinking and a sincere sushi-lover. The Valencian Design studio developed the Brera district outlet with the same travel and transport concept witnessed across eight others in Milan. They have elevated this concept to a whole new level in their latest restaurant venture by incorporating elements from the visual language of science fiction and space tourism.
“We proposed approaching the travel concept as a trip to the future,” said Masquespacio co-founder Christophe Penasse. “When you enter Ichi, it’s like entering a capsule-like spaceship traveling through light, where you will disconnect from reality in order to get in touch with the food.”
An eye-catching Wes Anderson-esque element of the 80-square-meter site is the tunnel that encloses the captivating sushi-making process. It flaunts a unique visual and storytelling style using symmetrical compositions and bright, bold color palettes reminiscent of the filmmaker.
The designers ensure ease of movement by locating the pick-up bar near the entrance. It separates the circulation routes of take-away customers and diners and deletes commotion.”Some elements were incorporated to remind the customer of Japan, like the huge lighting circles, although we tried to avoid making typical references to Japan, such as using wooden structures,” Penasse explained. One cannot ignore the choice of material palette that comprises glass and micro-cement witnessed on the integrated tables and seating akin to a spaceship.
“You can recognize it as a reinterpretation of the seating in a station and especially on a train,” Penasse explained. While the interiors are subtle, with an overdose of beige and white, the vibrant LED lighting system integrated into the walls, ceilings, and table tops adds a striking dash of color to the otherwise pale interiors. The culinary experience is crafted by Haruo Ichikawa, a distinguished Japanese master chef who previously served as the head chef at Iyo, a Michelin-starred restaurant in Milan.
Currently, he is also lending his expertise to other renowned establishments, such as the Magnolia GastroBar at the Four Seasons Hotel Firenze.