Wagamama, the Asian-inspired noodle restaurant with a name that sounds like some sort of dance move, has opened its first U.S. location in Boston’s historic Faneuil Hall. Originating in London, the chain, whose name means willful, naughty child in Japanese, now includes 70 restaurants around the globe.
For its foray into the U.S. market, the food retailer hired Gensler’s Boston office to create a design for the 4600-square-foot, two-story space that would reflect the Wagamama brand, yet highlight its historic bay city location.
The design is simple and clean, with subtle Asian influences achieved through bold floral graphics in deep brown and soft blue. Benchmarks of the noodle chain, such as natural wood communal tables and an open kitchen, create the brand’s authentic aesthetic. To bring in a bit of Boston, a glass storefront, roof and sidewall structure provide patrons with views of Faneuil Hall.
On the top floor, lighting is housed in suspended ceiling planes and in elegant cylinder pendants above a stainless-steel accented bar. Downstairs, a soft glow radiates from the ceiling’s perimeter. Wall graphics and tall, black fabric-backed seating are illuminated with uplighting.
Client: Wagamama, Boston
Design: Gensler, New York -- Helen Heitman, project manager; Julie Reker, project architect; Anne Thrush, design director; Elizabeth Larsen, designer/job captain; Andy Kirch, designer/job captain; Abby Moffitt, graphic designer; Mark Bernstein, technical director
Outside Design Consultants: Shawmut Design & Construction, Boston; Aberjona Engineering (Structural), Boston; C-Cubed (Engineering), Boston
Ceilings: Decoustics, Getzville, N.Y.
Fixtures: Design Fabricators, Cranston, R.I.
Flooring: Floor Gres, Fiorano, Italy
Furniture: Design Fabricators, Cranston, R.I.
Lighting: LAM Partners, Cambridge, Mass.; Schmitz, Columbia, Md.; Lucifer Lighting Co., San Antonio, Texas
Signage/Graphics: SRP Sign Corporation, Sommerville, Mass.; Gensler Studio 585, Boston; Applied Image, Farmingdale, N.J.
Wallcoverings/Materials: Sentury Painting, Wilmington Mass.
Photographer: Michael Piazza Photography, Boston