YURU Sushi & Sake Bar | Budapest, Hungary
[Noumen Studio]

Perched discreetly on the second floor of a courtyard building, YURU beckons guests into a tranquil haven, offering refuge from the relentless sensory onslaught of the urban landscape of downtown Budapest.

Commissioned with the task of metamorphosing a secluded, sterile office space and its accompanying terrace, Noumen Studio embarked on a transformative journey to create a sanctuary of sushi and sake. Central to this vision was the itamae [sushi chef] of YURU, whose mastery of sushi craft was honed in the esteemed kitchens of high-class Danish restaurants. A fusion of cultures ensued, intertwining the ethos of Japanese Zen with the coziness of Danish Hygge, resulting in a spatial narrative that transcends mere physicality, guiding patrons towards a realm where gastronomy and serenity harmonize seamlessly.

The space unfolds into two distinct realms: the terrace, stretching along the elongated corridor facing the inner courtyard, and a modest 30-square-meter indoor sanctuary, anchored by an elegantly undulating counter. Here, the essence of sushi craftsmanship is palpable in the spatial orchestration: the graceful curvature of the counter, coupled with the seamless integration of elbow rests and work surfaces, encourages a dynamic interaction. Amplifying this ambiance, an ethereal overhead lighting, inspired by the works of James Turrell, hints at the boundless depth of the spatial journey. Moving outside through the signature openings that were once windows, the terrace delineates its identity through two defining features: firstly, a partition separating it from the inner sanctum of the building, instilling a sense of sanctuary; secondly, a sinuous canopy of overhead lighting, casting a unique aura upon the space, evoking a sense of intrigue and allure.

YURU’s identity is further articulated through an array of meticulously curated elements, notably the bespoke charred wood block flooring, countertops, shelving, and terrace partition. Employing the time-honored Japanese Shou Sugi Ban technique, these wooden fixtures not only endure the test of time but also exude a signature smoky aroma. Complemented by the tactile allure of warm wall textures, discreet surface lighting, and sinuously sculpted cavelike contours, the space becomes a multisensory symphony, enriching the atmosphere and inviting guests to embark on an odyssey of culinary and spatial discovery. Text description by the architects.

Source: www.noumenstudio.com
Photography by: Matti Varga