We were invited by the V&A to design and build a sake bar within the historic Raphael Room of the Victoria & Albert Museum as part of the Neo Nipponica festival and 2016 Japan:London season. Through contemporary visual culture and design, the festival brings audiences face-to-face with leading and emerging artists and designers through live performance, film, installation, debate, DJs and late-night exhibition openings. Surrounded by the Raphael Cartoons, visitors were able to sample a selection of sake from Akashi Tai brewery as well as Nikka whisky chosen by sommelier Alina Sann.
We designed the paper-concertina bar to expand from a flattened form to full volume within a couple of hours, allowing us to create a highly sculptural and fluid piece of furniture within the centre of the space. The form was carefully configured specifically to the context of the room and the asymmetrical arched openings. The honeycomb surface forms a resilient bar top that can be planted with fresh flowers and point lights, forming atmospheric pockets of foliage that help choreograph the audience around its perimeter.