Restaurant lighting tour: Fujiwara Yoshi by Sergey Makhno Architects

General articles


In a cafe or restaurant, visitor expects not only to taste delicious dishes but also to relax and get aesthetic pleasure. In this case, light design plays an equally important role as service level or interior in general.

At the subconscious level, a person always strives for light, so with the help of it, you can create the necessary atmosphere in a restaurant, where guests would like to return again and again. In addition, light stimulates the appetite, influences emotions, controls the movement of visitors around the hall and zones the space. So, how to create a light concept that will emphasize the originality of the interior and make the time spent in the restaurant more pleasant?

Let’s look at an example of a Kyiv restaurant “Fujiwara Yoshi” that has been shortlisted in the “Lighting” category at the Restaurant and Bar Design Awards 2019. This is a piece of Japan in the heart of Ukraine, created by Sergey Makhno Architects. In the best Japanese traditions, there is a lot of light. The 800-square-meter restaurant area is illuminated by already 9 types of designer lamps that don’t transfer guests to the land of the rising sun, but harmoniously combine the best features of the two countries together.


Minimalistic Gemini compositions hover over most tables, creating a sense of a particular geometric order. Local hanging lamps evenly distribute light and don’t create shadows to preserve convenience when eating or even working — visitors often combine breakfast with reading the press or documents.


Sopilka lamp adds artistry to the previous composition. At first, the light, like sounds, flies out of it indecisively, impudently, shyly hiding in the openings in lamps, but then it dares and runs to all sides, quickly leaking into the entire restaurant space. Filling the hearts of visitors with light, it simultaneously draws in their heads walks through Japanese gardens of sakura and bonsai.


A huge lamp in the sushi-bar area resembles the symbol of Japan — the sacred Fuji mountain. Made of wood, it draws in the minds of guests the slopes, along which thousands of pilgrims climb to the top of the mountain to communicate with the gods.


The simplest forms of Lacuna conceal inside the picturesque landscapes of Japan, made in watercolor. There are lavender fields, rivers that cut the mountain valleys and the starry sky above them.


In one of the halls, a field of poppies bloomed right on the ceiling. Their buds are not bright and open, because dusk has come. But still, they warm with a silky light coming from the rough random holes.


Tatami-room is decorated with a plump Kvitka. A lot of nectar-like light bulbs inside it illuminate tea ceremonies. Here, visitors taste expensive tea drinks in droplets, slowly enjoying the atmospheric depth of traditional umami taste.


From ancient times runes were used for fortune-telling. Runa lamps don’t predict fate, but they certainly possess positive energy. Order a cup of coffee and take a look at the patterns of coffee grounds — they are definitely about the bright future.


Dymar is a special type of a chimney to draw tender light right to the plate. Thus, sushi, ramen or noodles taste better.



These lamps are made in the form of the chasen — a whisk for matcha tea. When making it, you can get a fluffy foam only with the help of the whisk. Similarly, in the interior of the restaurant, bamboo sprouts add dynamics and pomp to the traditionally minimalistic Japanese design.

Here’s how any space can be transformed with the help of light. Fujiwara Yoshi’s lighting concept is created by Sergey Makhno Architects for people, their impressions and feelings. But at the same time, it is not only a functional craft but a high art, integrated into the rest of the interior design.

Play with light, colors, and shapes, and then even the most ordinary place will turn into a fabulous one.


Author — Victoria Tokatly
Main visual — Nikita Uvarov
Photos — Andrey Avdeenko

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