Owner: Doko Bar
Interior design: Waterfrom Design
Furnishings: on design, Cassina, Frank Chou
Photo credits: Kuomin Lee
The initiative of Waterfrom could be seen as a social experiment on the real world and the web, organized around a subtle, ethereal filter that defines distances and makes them possible to overcome. Not a critique of the often despised ‘mania’ for photographing and posting food before it gets eaten, but reflections on the complexity of interpersonal relations, the constant search for consensus that lies behind the sharing of details of private life, and the clever intuition of turning them into currency.
After all, “in the future everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes,” Andy Warhol predicted, though he did not know what the media involved would be. Today, appearing satisfies the need for fame and social networks represent the ideal stage on which narcissists can exhibit themselves in all their glory. And if photographing food for these reasons has created a sensory gap from the experience of eating itself, Doko Bar sets out to update the ritual of meals, making them real through “the endless game of living and eating.”
The dessert bar takes its cue from contemporary immersive theater that uses the three-dimensional surface as an enormous stage to ensure a dynamic and sensorial experience, in which during the prophetic quarter hour clients and professional staff become an integral part of a game with orchestrated parts, which has to be accepted in order to go beyond. The entire space is comparable to a 360-degree stage, which reflecting the blurry boundaries between the real and virtual worlds allows people to become part of the gastronomic spectacle as observers and players, immobile or in motion, seen from below or from above.
The solid and cloudy charm is conveyed by games of light, transparencies, material consistencies and color, an energetic red in contrast with the gray of the concrete floors. Waterfrom has created semi-transparent curtains using nylon threads, and has built walls with different densities in metal mesh, galvanized sheet metal, stainless steel and sturdy elm wood.
In the oblong shop, the ground floor gravitates around the multifrontal counter-stage of the chef, forming a pair of concentric circles. Along the perimeter, at the position of the tables, the rain of nylon threads is interrupted in gaps with transparent frames of various sizes, while on the upper level it offers glimpses of corridors presented as performative catwalks for the flow of guests heading to their tables or towards the staircase.
Other views based on the frames and screens of Instagram scan the space, forming internal windows so that each position can be perceived as a sort of focal point of action. At the center of the stage, apparently floating in the air, regal and mysterious, a gigantic red ‘box’ contains more secluded positions, with spherical tables and sofas. According to the architects and influencers, this is the most coveted zone.