Akira Back, Toronto

Designed by: Studio Munge
For client: Akira Back, INCONINK Floor area: 279.00 M² Year of completion: 2017
Submitted for: Restaurant of the Year

Studio Munge Akira Back 03
© Maxime Brouillet

Akira Back's destination sushi bar and artistic custom ceiling ignite

About the Project

Alessandro Munge and Chef Akira Back reveal the first Canadian location for the celebrity chef’s eponymous restaurant. Guests are transported into the second-floor restaurant, Akira Back, by an immersive sculptural staircase that mirrors a six-tiered ceiling structure with glowing cove lighting. This vortex radiates with custom gold leaf textured surfaces, igniting the imagination.

Tactile finishes cohabitate in a holistic statement of textured carbon tones executed in lavish materiality. Guests discover sensorial thoughtfulness as they touch the leathered belvedere marble tables, velvet upholstered bar stools and polished metal accents. Subtle nods to Japanese culture include specialized Shou Sugi Ban inspired walls, a centuries old Japanese wood finishing technique paying homage to the craftsmanship of fellow sushi masters.

The arched ceiling reveals a bold contrast to the dark interiors below. Leaning in from the opposing black walls, an impactful hand painted mural illustrates abstract petals in shades of indigo with shimmering gold highlights. A custom mobile waves through the ceiling showcasing original artwork by Akira’s mom.

This final show stopping sushi bar is illuminated by gold finished brass volumes extending from the floor-to-ceiling. Akira Back delivers internationally renowned expertise to Toronto, immersing guests into a statement of luxury with every dish.

What’s unique about it

Emerging triumphantly among Toronto’s saturated Southeast Asian dining options, Akira Back was designed to innovate and revitalize the city’s dining culture in a way that would position the restaurant as a global destination. The interiors set the stage for the Michelin Starred chef’s mastery with a soulful yet modern sensibility.

The creative material applications and artistic volumes of colour were critical in transforming the second-floor restaurant into a true world-class experience. The main dining room is surrounded by golden volumes; the contrasting sultry dark tones create a bold contrast between the dazzling entry and sushi bar.

Furthermore, custom details integrated within the design connect each guest with Akira Back’s cuisine and chef’s personal journey to success with an elevated sophistication. A traditional wood burning technique inspired the wood paneled walls, and a custom mobile showcasing his mother’s artwork energizes the coved ceiling with bursts of electric blue, yellow and white.

The design balances an understanding of excitement and intimacy while modernizing expectations of the Japanese restaurant.

Studio Munge Akira Back 01
© Maxime Bocken

Encased in golden textures, the entry into Akira Back ignites the imagination

Studio Munge Akira Back 02
© Maxime Bocken

Guests follow an architectural three-tiered staircase into the restaurant

Studio Munge Akira Back 05
© Maxime Brouillet

Witnessing the curved ceiling details from the bar

Studio Munge Akira Back 04
© Maxime Brouillet

An artistic custom mobile engages the ceiling while perfectly framing the marble bar

Studio Munge Akira Back 06
© Maxime Brouillet

Custom leathered belvedere marble tables, the perfect culinary canvas at our banquettes

Studio Munge Akira Back 07
© Maxime Brouillet

A setting for larger parties adorned by golden shelves displaying an impressive sake offering

Studio Munge Akira Back 08
© Maxime Brouillet

At the centre of Akira Back, the gaze is directed to the destination sushi bar

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© Maxime Brouillet

The point of evolution as guests enter the sushi bar's dining from dark tones of the main dining

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© Maxime Brouillet

The finale, the golden destination sushi bar

Location of project:
Alessandro Munge

Erika Van Der Pas

Mehari Manna Seare

Stephanie Krushen

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