‘There’s plenty of fish in the sea’ is an understatement when you’re in Istanbul. Turkey’s most fascinating city has direct access to two major bodies of water: the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara. Asked to tackle the branding of local fast-food restaurant Dardenia Fish + Sushi, Alataş Architecture crafted an interior that emphasizes Dardenia’s reputation as a trustworthy eatery.

The restaurant's customers enter the environment through a transparent, non-laminated glass facade, custom-designed with a fishing-inspired bobbins system. The main interior is minimal and sanitized, yet warmed up by the wooden tables and service desks. Other functional elements, such as a reverse-tripod coat rack or a bait-like magazine hanger, provide hints of playfulness. 

By making a section of the floor upstairs transparent, the designers put the ground-level kitchen on display, inviting diners to look down and watch the cooks in action. The see-through portion of the floor also allows natural light to filter through to the space below. The toilets, designed as a 4.5-m-high mezzanine in the basement floor, further connect the two environments while establishing an informal contact between the clients and the kitchen. The overall result is a light, airy interior with interesting contrasts, particularly cool versus warm and the balance between formality and informality.

Words Nicola Bozzi
Photos Ali Bekman, courtesy of Alataş

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