The design of the Izumi Charlottenlund restaurant reflects its Nordic-Japanese menu

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Pan-Projects and Mok Architects took inspiration from Nordic and Japanese aesthetics to design this restaurant in Copenhagen, which features oak surfaces, translucent screens and paper lanterns.


Izumi is a Danish restaurant chain, which serves Japanese cuisine with Nordic influences. Its latest outlet occupies a busy street corner in Copenhagen’s northern suburb, Charlottenlund.

The 120 square meter restaurant has an L-shaped plan with windows that roll up on two sides.

An open kitchen and a small dining room occupy one side of the restaurant, while a larger dining room, guest washroom, and a small backyard for parking occupy the other side.

Izumi Charlottenlund by Pan-Projects

Copenhagen-based architecture studio Pan-Projects was invited by Izumi, along with Mok Architects, to create a new spatial identity for the chain.

The owners of Izumi wanted the interior of the restaurant to reflect its Nordic-Japanese menu.

Izumi Charlottenlund by Pan-Projects

“Japan and the Nordic countries have a rich history of cultural interactions,” said the founders of Pan-Projects, Yurioko Yaga and Kazumasa Takada.

“Especially in the field of design, there are many examples that were originally rooted in Japanese culture but developed only in the country of the Nordic region.”

Izumi Charlottenlund by Pan-Projects

In the restaurant, this is reflected in such things as the curved Scandinavian oak panels that surround the open kitchen.

According to the architects, the modular panels adhere to a traditional Japanese dimension system used to make Japanese tatami mats.

The slight curve of the panels is inspired by Scandinavian steam-bent furniture.

Izumi Charlottenlund by Pan-Projects

“As a design strategy, we adopted Japanese spatial characters in the Scandinavian context, with the aim of fabricating a new standard of design interactions between Japan and Scandinavia,” said Yaga and Takada.

Izumi Charlottenlund by Pan-Projects

A series of translucent screens made from multiple layers of sanded polycarbonate sheets is a contemporary riff of traditional Japanese paper sliding doors.

Isamu Noguchi, who was a Japanese sculptor based in New York City, designed the Akari lanterns that hang above tables, while the dining chairs are designed by London-based Japanese design studio Mentsen.

Izumi Charlottenlund by Pan-Projects

This is the third Izumi branch that Pan-Projects has completed, joining two other outposts in the Frederiksberg and Allerød districts of Copenhagen. Construction is expected to start at another site in Vesterbrogade in 2020.

Izumi Charlottenlund by Pan-Projects

The restaurant is the latest in a series of restaurants that blend Danish and Japanese design sensibilities.

In Tokyo, OEO Studio referenced Danish cabinetry and Japanese gardens for the design of the Inua restaurant, while Norm Architects designed a sushi restaurant in London that features Japanese gong-shaped lamps and Danish wide-plank flooring. .

The photograph is by Yuta Sawamura.


Project credits:

Architecture firms: Pan-Projects and Mok Architects
Architects: Yuriko Yagi, Kazumasa Takada, Miki Morita, Suguru Kobayashi
Construction and carpentry: Indretningsfabrikken


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