In late 2014 a new Japanese restaurant “Sushi B” opened its doors in the heart of the historic city centre of Milan. Surrounded by designer shops, fashion boutiques and concept stores, the new restaurant has the perfect setting for its stylish food. Helvar was chosen as the technical partner for the lighting control and management system.
THE ARCHITECTURAL CONCEPT
Sushi B’s architectural concept was a collaboration between architects Yukio Ishiyama and Nobuhiko Shimada for Studio Garde, Italy and Stefano Corò and Nicola Pellizzaro for Merotto Milani. Merging the Italian setting with Japanese hospitality and cuisine fused together these two cultures to create a unique dining experience.
The restaurant welcomes guests into an impressive space characterised by a vertical green wall more than twelve metres long and a bar area with a counter made from overlapping segments of Biancone d’Asiago, an Italian marble. This grand entrance leads into the restaurant which is divided into three areas.
Leading up to the mezzanine floor this intimate and elegant space is host to “teppanyaki”, a style of Japanese cuisine which sees chefs cooking food on a large iron griddle, to the delight of the diners, who are seated around it.
Proceeding down to the lower floor the sushi counter which is six metres long dominates the main area and displays a variety of sushi on a counter made of cypress wood. Customers sit in this relaxed atmosphere whilst observing the skills of the chefs preparing the food, making this a unique dining experience.
THE LIGHTING CONCEPT
Sushi B natural theme comes from its sophisticated combination of wood and stone with neutral tones. The lighting plays an equally important part creating just the right ambience.
The main objective for the lighting project was to create a feeling of wellbeing in a relaxed and calming atmosphere.
All the rooms feature indirect LED lighting which enhances and defines the architectural elements, emphasising perspectives and trajectories. LED spotlights are used over the tables and work surfaces.
The same design concept was also applied outside, where the vertical green wall illuminates the entire outdoor area, reflecting the light of the luminaires. In this area metal halide lamps are used to generate the amount of light required to support vegetation growth.
THE LIGHTING CONTROL SYSTEM BY HELVAR
The three different areas in the restaurant are managed with a Helvar DIGIDIM Router system. Using pre-set scenes, lighting levels are adjusted for the varying requirements of the restaurant throughout the day,such as lunch and dinner, meal preparation and cleaning when the restaurant is closed.
The restaurant staff can manually call up the pre-set scenes using the Helvar TouchPanel, connected via Ethernet to a Helvar router. The TouchPanel is a high resolution colour, fully interactive 3.5” LCD touch screen that manages the lighting control systems and allows the user to automatically set multiple scenes based on schedules, or repeating sequences.
The programming can also be changed in a simple and intuitive way in order to meet the restaurant’s changing needs. The luminaires focused on the green wall require a constant light level; this is achieved with the time control set in the restaurant.
The restaurant’s priority for lighting is to create a warm, calming and relaxed atmosphere. Helvar’s lighting solution shows that in addition to this it is essential to have a lighting management system that can also offer energy efficiency and reduce unnecessary lighting, which is typical when completely manual control is used.
“ A DALI lighting control system was specified, so Helvar were a natural choice. We needed to make very efficient use of the limited space, so the compact design and advanced functionality of the Helvar system let us set different lighting scenes and reduce energy costs by dimming and switching off lights that have been left on unnecessarily. “ explains the lighting designer Sergio Rigato.
“ We have always liked working with Helvar, and are glad to be working with them on this project. Thanks to their professional approach and technical expertise, they are willing and able to be flexible when plans change,” continues Stefano Corò, “the use of a Helvar lighting management system has allowed the restaurant Sushi B to optimise all the equipment, reduce energy usage and to have different scene sets suitable for each area”.