Following a successful previous collaboration, the team at Izakaya Kinoya called on Jean de Lessard to create a unique concept for their Japanese restaurant and bar located on one of the quieter stretches of Saint-Denis Street. The result: a hip, urban destination with raw character, street art decor and an underground feel, according to the jury. The flags that obscure the view of the street also evoke the kind of casual, roguish atmosphere found in the izakayas of Japan. The new design for Izakaya Kinoya is a confidently bold concept that cannot fail to provoke a strong reaction, the jury noted. Whether or not the decor appeals on a personal level, the mastery of the artistic direction is undeniable, and all the shapes and volumes were clearly carefully thought out to produce a unified whole. In fact, the designer essentially created a shell within a shell; this angular habitable sculpture offers a unique experience as well as some quirky nooks and corners, and the asymmetry makes the space dynamic. The almost exclusive use of reclaimed barn wood, mainly white spruce, also earned this project the Valorization of wood in interior design award. For the designer, the wood’s acoustic properties and the cosy atmosphere it produces were important criteria of choice. Using wood also enables precise cuts and relatively fast assembly despite the complexity of the structure.