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Izakaya Kinoya Montreal

A contemporary Izakaya Kinoya Montreal, is a Japanese style tapas bar. This restaurant was designed by Jean de Lessard Design who has won several international awards for this project. It is a good place to discover the exotic atmosphere of an Izakaya and enjoy a unique experience in Japanese cuisine.

Izakaya-Kinoya-Montreal-By-Jean-de-Lessard-02-Adrien-Williams-800x1200 Izakaya Kinoya Montreal / Jean de Lessard

© Adrien Williams

located on Saint-Denis Street, Montreal. The new design of the restaurant is a bold concept that will surprise you and cause at the first sight, a strong reaction. With an informal atmosphere, with elements of street art, Kinoya Izakaya is an asymmetric space that seems to be in contrast. With strange corners, the design focuses on chaos and the notion of confinement.

Izakaya-Kinoya-Montreal-By-Jean-de-Lessard-05-Adrien-Williams-759x506 Izakaya Kinoya Montreal / Jean de Lessard

© Adrien Williams

“To create a place with its own dynamics, the design of the new Izakaya Kinoya focuses on fractals, chaos and the notion of confinement. Breaking from the outside world, the wooden angular geometry of 800 ft2 forces a symbiosis within between occupants. This extremely wild universe, with a strangely muted urban atmosphere, the relationships of intimacy between human are profoundly changed.” – Jean de Lessard

Izakaya-Kinoya-Montreal-By-Jean-de-Lessard-07-Adrien-Williams-800x1200 Izakaya Kinoya Montreal / Jean de Lessard

© Adrien Williams

“For a space to become an event [or to create] emotion, it must generate its own energy,” says de Lessard. “I designed an enclosed space that is totally focused on the business of partying. The design elements are deliberately oppressive or aggressive so it is anarchic, rough and where we are loudly heckled.”

Izakaya-Kinoya-Montreal-By-Jean-de-Lessard-08-Adrien-Williams-759x506 Izakaya Kinoya Montreal / Jean de Lessard

© Adrien Williams

Following a successful previous collaboration, the team at Izakaya Kinoya called on Jean de Lessard to create a unique concept for their Japanese restaurant and bar located on one of the quieter stretches of Saint-Denis Street. The result: a hip, urban destination with raw character, street art decor and an underground feel.

The flags that obscure the view of the street also evoke the kind of casual, roguish atmosphere found in the izakayas of Japan. The new design for Izakaya Kinoya is a confidently bold concept that cannot fail to provoke a strong reaction.

Whether or not the decor appeals on a personal level, the mastery of the artistic direction is undeniable, and all the shapes and volumes were clearly carefully thought out to produce a unified whole. In fact, the designer essentially created a shell within a shell; this angular habitable sculpture offers a unique experience as well as some quirky nooks and corners, and the asymmetry makes the space dynamic.

Izakaya-Kinoya-Montreal-By-Jean-de-Lessard-10-Adrien-Williams-800x1200 Izakaya Kinoya Montreal / Jean de Lessard

© Adrien Williams

The almost exclusive use of reclaimed barn wood, mainly white spruce, also earned this project the Valorization of wood in interior design award. For the designer, the wood’s acoustic properties and the cosy atmosphere it produces were important criteria of choice. Using wood also enables precise cuts and relatively fast assembly despite the complexity of the structure.

A vertical drop of around 1.5 m between the front and rear parts of the ceiling contributes to the cocoon effect. The design suggests something of the interior of origami, composed of triangles of various sizes, crookedly placed in a random fashion. Despite patrons having to stand shoulder-to-shoulder, the place has been full since its recent opening. Soft lighting and the cozy atmosphere create a friendly environment where the smell of wood mingles pleasantly with the aromas of good food.

Izakaya-Kinoya-Montreal-By-Jean-de-Lessard-11-Adrien-Williams-800x1200 Izakaya Kinoya Montreal / Jean de Lessard

© Adrien Williams

Jean de Lessard:

For its latest Kinoya, interior designer Jean de Lessard has tapped into the sources to emulate in his design the primary spirit, function and aesthetics of the izakaya , as the latter was originally an informal place where people drank beer and sake. The transformation is particularly unusual that it explores through extreme design intimacy in relationships between people, making of Kinoya a true representation of the unique approach the designer has developed about the different ways of occupying a space.

Izakaya-Kinoya-Montreal-By-Jean-de-Lessard-14-Kinoya-Izakaya-759x759 Izakaya Kinoya Montreal / Jean de Lessard

© Kinoya Izakaya

The notion of confinement is staged with simplicity using fractal geometry and the broken line: a box which shape recalls an articulated snake now fills the inside of the black box where of the previous Kinoya only remain the floral patterns. The box creates a break between the known/predictable (the outside world, the opening) and the unknown/unpredictable (chaotic enclosed interior, full of nooks and crannies). “For a space to become Event or Emotion, it must generate its own energy. I designed an enclosed space that is totally focused on the business of partying. The design elements are deliberately oppressive or aggressive, so that it is anarchic, rough and where we are loudly heckled”, explains Jean de Lessard. The vertical drop of 4 to 5 feet between the front and rear parts of the ceiling contributes to the cocoon effect.

Izakaya-Kinoya-Montreal-By-Jean-de-Lessard-20-Kinoya-Izakaya-759x506 Izakaya Kinoya Montreal / Jean de Lessard

© Kinoya Izakaya

The place is always full since the opening, despite the fact that one must stand shoulder to shoulder. The soft lighting and the cozy atmosphere makes it a friendly environment where the smell of wood mingles pleasantly with the aromas of mouth-watering dishes.

Izakaya-Kinoya-Montreal-By-Jean-de-Lessard-21-Kinoya-Izakaya-800x1200 Izakaya Kinoya Montreal / Jean de Lessard

© Kinoya Izakaya

Shock socialization:

The space, such as how one could figure what the interior of origami looks like, is composed of triangles of various sizes, crookedly placed in a random fashion. “Jean told me what he wanted to feel in this place. Where one had to be cramped also. It’s a fantasy cave where people are in a constant visual exploration mode”, says artist carpenter Dominic Samson, Solution durable, who built the structure, a piece of work he’s proud of and that he describes as uplifting.

Izakaya-Kinoya-Montreal-By-Jean-de-Lessard-24-Kinoya-Izakaya-759x506 Izakaya Kinoya Montreal / Jean de Lessard

© Kinoya Izakaya

A durable material, wood has an exceptional capacity of resonance and absorption. The irregularity and angularity of the surfaces further deflect sound waves, helping to muffle the ambiant noise. The reused wood from barns is local and covers an area that represents 4,500 square feet. Boards of hemlock and white spruce of different width and thickness were installed in all directions. If this strengthens the idea of chaos, on the other end the glued-laminated technique used for the installation provides in turn a perfect finish.

The uncouth-tavern style decoration is left to its simplest expression: the furniture and lighting were salvaged from previous Kinoya, drawings and graffitis offend the eye and confirm the urban character of the establishment. Kakemono banners that are used to hide the street also perpetuate the Japanese tradition.

Izakaya-Kinoya-Montreal-By-Jean-de-Lessard-26-Kinoya-Izakaya-759x542 Izakaya Kinoya Montreal / Jean de Lessard

© Kinoya Izakaya

In Japan, an izakaya is a place of socialization and of stress alleviation. Here at Kinoya, the narrow space forces to relate to one another, under his/her unavoidable gaze. The design has the West and the Far East (East Asia) beliefs about community spirit, closeness and brotherhood collide in a fun and joyful manner.

Creator of award-winning projects, Jean de Lessard has recently completed the design of a pharmacy that questions the perception we might have about a pharmaceutical products establishment, from a structural and esthetic point of view. Other commercial projects with a unique design are in progress.

Izakaya-Kinoya-Montreal-By-Jean-de-Lessard-27-Kinoya-Izakaya-759x570 Izakaya Kinoya Montreal / Jean de Lessard

© Kinoya Izakaya

Project Data:

Project name: Izakaya Kinoya
Location: 4250, Rue Saint-Denis, Montreal, Quebec H2J 2K8, Canada
Coordinates: 45.522098, -73.579038
Type: Lounge / Bar / Restaurant / Night Clubs
Capacity: 60 places
Project Year: 2010
Project Area: 135 sqm/1,500 sq.ft
Status: Completed
Completion Year: 2014

Awards:

  • 2015 – Grands Prix du Design Award – Category: Restaurant, less than 2,000 sq.ft
  • 2015 – Grands Prix du Design Award – Category: Valorization of wood in interior design
  • 2014 – Interior Design Magazine Award – Best of Year Awards – Category: Casual Dining – Finalist

The people:

Client / Owner / Developer: Kinoya Bistro japonais, Montréal
Interior Designer: Jean de Lessard – 7091 8th avenue, Montréal, QC H2A 3C5, Canada
Project Team: Jean de Lessard, Alexa Adam
General Contractor: Pure Renovation
Woodworking: Dominic Samson, Solution durable
Text Description: © Courtesy of Adrien Williams, Grands Prix du Design Award, timberdesignmag
Images: © Izakaya Kinoya, Adrien Williams

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Izakaya Kinoya Montreal / Jean de Lessard
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