THE “HEAVENLY” MONIKER fits the welcoming and enchanting Cafe Lani Hawaii. The Ala Moana Center eatery features refreshing sights and scents to stimulate more than just tastebuds. “We were very focused on every space a customer could be in,” explains Hiroto Suzuki, AIA, owner at Wanderlust Plus. “We care about how the customer feels and what they experience while they’re dining. Lighting and atmosphere are an important part of that.”
Pier Thirty USA, Inc
"Suzuki designed three areas within the interior, using custom-built furniture, unique structural elements and original graphics to distinguish them. The park space, picnic-style seating for a bright and casual meal; the forest space, family-style seating tucked beneath the towering floor-to-ceiling poles; and the home space, a softly lit lounge area against the back wall with cozy booth seating. Establishing distinct yet cohesive spaces within the restaurant offers a fun variation for both new and returning guests, says Suzuki.
The adjacent coffee bar features natural materials and modern organic shapes, corresponding with the symbolic tree structures. Large, natural-wood planks frame the wall behind the bar, setting the casual atmosphere for the restaurant and visually differentiating the communal dining area from the other seating arrangements. Peppered pops of color and dynamic visuals complements the modern, Hawaii-style interior.
A viewing window showcases the bakers at work to passing shoppers and lures guests in with the scent of freshly baked bread. The main kitchen area, centrally adjacent to the dining room, is defined by suspended shelving extended from the high ceiling, housing decorative ceramics, plants and glass jars to create an open concept while obscuring the necessary cooking equipment. The openness allows diners to watch and enjoy Cafe Lani’s food from its start as fresh ingredients to a beautifully plated, finished dish."
- The American Institute of Architects | Honolulu Chapter | AIA Design Awards 2016