#OMG is a Japanese restaurant in Hong Kong. The restaurant name #OMG is a hashtag label commonly used in several major social media platforms, such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Google Plus, etc. Users create hashtags by placing a “#” sign before a word or a phrase. It allows them to express their feelings, and at the same time search for posts with the same hashtag. In the design of this restaurant, the designers have incorporated a lot of concepts that are associated with the Internet and social media. They have chosen magenta as the main color theme of this restaurant. This color not only resembles sakura, a symbol of Japan, but is also a mix of the white and red colors on the Japanese flag.
On the ceiling are some custom-made magenta lamps, criss-crossing each other illustrating a zigzag pattern. It resembles the pixelated image when a picture is being immensely enlarged. This web of lamps also represents how the Internet connects people around the globe, just like how hashtags enable users to browse stories of other people. Echoing with the design of the lamps, the floor patterns are also in zigzag shape. Customized homogeneous tiles form zigzag floor pattern, the designers have also customized magenta grouting to fill the gap between the tiles, which is of exactly the same color as other decorations in the restaurant.
To again resemble pixelated images, the designers picked square tables and chairs with right-angled corners. The booth seatings are made from solid surfacing to imitate rigid and angular pixels. The edges of the tables are painted in white oak color for decoration. These features of the furniture together create a harmonious and neat feeling. The name of the restaurant ‘#OMG’ on the main wall are being pixelated, presented in square forms, which continue to connect with the theme of this restaurant.
The design has incorporated many elements that are associated with the Internet and social media. It was a challenge to represent this non-visual theme before the customers’ eyes; the designers had to think of ways to visually portray this abstract concept.
Magenta is chosen as the main color theme of this restaurant. This color not only resembles sakura, which is a symbol of Japan, it is also a mix of the white and red colors on the Japanese flag. However, magenta is not a common color used in restaurants and interior design. Using this color enabled #OMG to stand out from many other restaurants, but at the same time, it was hard for the designers to find ready-made furniture and decorations in magenta. Custom-making the furniture and decorations has incurred a higher production cost for the project.
The specially designed lamps hung on the ceiling and wall were challenging to install. As these lamps are very heavy and big, the designers had to think of special installation methods to have them securely attached to the ceiling and wall. Also, the client requested the designers to arrange the lighting so that it shines on and lights up the dining tables. As it was impossible to rearrange the direction of the lights after installation, it was challenging to create the most suitable lighting effect.
In order to present non-visual ideas such as hashtag and the Internet, the designers custom-made magenta ceiling lamps, these lamps criss-cross each other to form a zigzag pattern. They represent pixelated images when a picture is being immensely enlarged, and illustrate how the Internet connects people, just like how hashtags enable users from around the world to browse stories of others.
Magenta is used throughout the restaurant. This adoption of this bold and uncommon color has created a strong impression to the customers. Even though the budget was limited, it was necessary to custom-make furniture and decorations as this color is too uncommon. Customized homogeneous tiles form zigzag floor pattern, the designers have customized magenta grouting to fill the cracks between the tiles, which is of exactly the same color as other decorations in the restaurant.
As the lamps were specially designed and custom-made, the designers made mock ups to present the effect to the clients. While installing the lamps, the contractor had to first plant the base of the lamp into the wall, ensure that the base and electrical wires do not show, and at last connect the light bulbs. However, as these lamps are very heavy and big, it was not possible to modify the arrangements of the lamps once installed. 3D models were created to confirm the layout before installation. In order to achieve the best lighting effect, and to properly light up the dining tables, minor adjustments of the furniture had to be made on site.
One Plus Partnership Limited is an award-winning Hong Kong-based design firm established in 2004 by Ajax Law and Virginia Lung. One Plus designs a variety of projects, including cinemas, restaurants, retails stores, club houses, sales offices, branding and product design projects. Over the past 13 years, One Plus has been awarded over 400 international interior design awards from USA, Germany, Italy, UK and Japan. In 2012, One Plus was the sole winner of Andrew Martin Awards - The International Interior Designer of the Year Award, the first Asia design company who has won this honor. In 2013, One Plus received the Gold Award in iF Design Award, the first Hong Kong interior design company that has won this title, and then again won the Gold Award in 2016. In 2016, awarded the Cultural & Creativity Awards by the Hong Kong Association of Cultural Industries, officially recognized as the Hong Kong design company that has received the most international awards in the previous 5 years.
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