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The Interior Design Of Cocoro Restaurant By Gascoigne Associates

Cocoro was situated in an old industrial warehouse in Brown Street, Ponsonby, Auckland, New Zealand. Cocoro had the meaning of ‘heart and soul’ in Japanese. As modern Japanese, a degustation style menu including Japanese style tapas was offered.

The Decor includes large squares of chocolate carpet, woven charcoal and reminiscent of subtle tatami-style matting. The restaurant menu had a different pattern that of a checkerboard pattern.

For an environment feeling which would look natural, modern and comfortable, all of the selected materials were recyclable. The restaurant design was perfect for both lunch and dinner and compliments the tapas style menu with its simplicity.


The restaurant’s logo had circular graphics, and was printed on the up-lit black walls. The large six metre long Macrocarpa dining table was cut from a single tree in the middle of the room. The guests were invited to dine side by side. Lined with Macrocarpa batons integrating LED downlights and sound studio foam for acoustics, the ceilings were sandblasted exposed concrete.

The raw exposed concrete ceiling, there were battens, which were hanged, and above the lines of banquet seating was on each sidewall. The communal table was placed in the centre, subtly hiding LED downlights which the focus was placed on the food. With the rectangular slot window in the back wall, diners were allowed to see into the quiet and efficient kitchen

This Japanese restaurant interior lined with wooden slats in Auckland, New Zealand, was completed by New Zealand architects Gascoigne Associates. Called Cocoro (meaning ‘heart and soul’ in Japanese), the restaurant was situated in a former warehouse.

With LED lighting and sound insulation concealed between them, wooden slats suspended the exposed concrete walls and ceiling. Photographs were by Patrick Reynolds.


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