Restaurant Design in Australia by a Leading Japanese Designer Mr KATSUYA IWAMOTO

04 ––– 09 ––– 2020

Opened in 2013, ‘BIRD’S NEST West End’ is a yakitori bar owned by Brisbane-raised owners who aim to bring the spirit of Japanese hospitality, taste and service to Australia. Iwamoto installed delicate Kumiko woodwork and traditional carvings brought from Japan to create an authentic Japanese impression for the partitions that can be touched by hand. He also used a traditional Japanese pattern of clouds on the high walls. It was designed while exploring construction methods that would be easy to produce in Australia. It was Mr Iwamoto’s first time designing in Australia. Still, by carefully communicating with the local builders, he was able to create a comfortable space that became a popular place in Brisbane.


Then the owner, known as Samurai Girls on Channel 9’s ‘The Hotplate’, planned their second restaurant, BIRD’S NEST Fortitude valley, based on the prize of being Australia’s No. 1 on the TV show. Iwamoto designed counter seating with an up-close view of the vibrant open kitchen and comfortable table seating surrounded in a bamboo wall. To achieve the beautiful curves of the bamboo wall, Iwamoto provided detailed advice to the local builders on how to build it, and the wall was achieved as desired with thinly split bamboo. Sophisticated indirect lighting effects and the use of natural materials such as bamboo and charcoal make this bar an authentic dining experience.


Most recently, in 2019, he designed ‘BIRD’S NEST ON THE RUN,’ a more casual restaurant in a food court in Toowong, Brisbane. For the interior, bamboo and charcoal were used to maintain the existing brand image. He installed Japanese ink paintings for the second line of BIRD’S NEST to show customers that the store was inspired by Japan.


photography: Seiryo Yamada


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