venetian architecture studio kokaistudios reveals the ‘dai forni’, an italian fine dining restaurant located on the top floor of the newly-built four seasons kuwait in the burjalshaya building. the starting point of the design process was to canvas italy and determine which part of its vast culinary heritage and geography to focus on. the team has quickly settled upon the tastes, smells, and textures of the mediterranean and in particular the island of sicily — the meeting point between the cultures of the middle east and europe.
all images by seth powers
the architects have envisioned the space as an oasis for all of the senses with the entrance characterized by an immense green wall, itself an innovative structure filled with local desert plant varietals, and large fire pillars that frame the entrance experience and bring the guests along a sandstone-floored corridor into main dining areas centered around an expansive antipasti counter covered in a pink-hued hand-treated cooper from italy. three large hand-hammered custom made copper wood-burning ovens produced in australia occupy center stage to the right of the entrance corridor. these beautiful ovens are operated daily with a specially chosen hungarianfragrant wood that creates a unique smell and flavor to produce the freshest pizza and bread. 3 semi-circular banquette seating areas are backed by sicilian lava-stone walls to offer a prime view of the chefs at work. the seating and the custom-designed chandeliers take their inspiration from the traditional sicilian woven baskets. this idea extends to the two inter-linkable private dining rooms where the walls are finished in a rough woven rope which contrasts with the doors and sun-screens featuring an intricate pattern created in carved corian that take their inspiration from the local mashrabiya patterns but are in fact traditional lace patterns from sicily.
while the restaurant is focused on the concept of fire, the bathrooms act as refreshing counter-point featuring a hand-painted blue and white italian tiles and video installation of a waterfall designed by shanghai-based video artists flatmind. the large outdoor terrace, shared with the neighboring asian restaurant sintoho also designed by kokaistudios, completes the oasis concept with its large glass sculpture that acts as the central water feature.
rattan woven wall
dining space by the window
the dining area
name: dai forni restaurant at the four seasons hotel kuwait
chief architects: filippo gabbiani, andrea destefanis
team: sherry g, kasia gorecka, mirei lim, ada sun, shannon guo
location: kuwait city, kuwait
client: m.h al-shaya co.
completion: november 2017
photography: seth powers
edited by: maria erman | designboom