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Brief Published: 28 Feb 2011

Niko Restaurant


Designed by New York-based architect and designer Rafael de Cárdenas, the newly opened Niko Restaurant in New York’s SoHo is a modern sushi restaurant that manages to reference Japanese culture without falling into the trap of being themed.

In collaboration with the owner – New York restaurateur Cobi Levy – de Cárdenas has used a muted palette and natural materials, evoking a fresh and contemporary ambience. Specially commissioned artworks and furnishings create focal points and unify the open plan bar and dining room.

Two lightless chandeliers and a screen designed by artist Jim Drain add colour to the space. The straight criss-crossing lines of these pieces (reminiscent of those used in traditional Japanese architecture and screens) are echoed in de Cárdenas’s own wall art of patterns created from tightly strung rope.

Rafael de Cárdenas