All images ©Kotaro Tanaka courtesy OEO Studio

OEO Studio, a Copenhagen-based design firm, has recently completed the interiors of Noma Kyoto, a pop-up dining in Japan in collaboration with Ace Hotel. The 250 sqm existing dining space has been transformed under the guidance of stylist Christine Rudolph to create a truly unique and immersive experience that’s open to the culinary curious from March 15 to May 20, 2023.


“The most pivotal moment was when I experienced my first tea ceremony,” says René Redzepi, explaining the inspiration behind why he decided to close his groundbreaking restaurant Noma, which consistently ranks as the world’s best, and move his 95-person staff halfway across the world for 3 months. “This made me wonder: could the tasting menu we see in the Western world today have its origin in Japan…or put it in a different way—from a cup of tea?”

For a 3-month pop-up, the space has been immaculately designed, taking full advantage of the high-ceiling dining area that offers stunning views of the garden. The use of dimmed lighting and welcoming acoustics creates an intimate atmosphere, inviting diners to fully immerse themselves.

The earthy color palette enhances the connection to the local environment, with natural tones and textures creating a warm and tactile ambiance. The attention to detail is evident throughout, with careful consideration given to every aspect of the space, from the choice of materials to the arrangement of furniture and décor.

The design seamlessly integrates with the culinary style of Noma, which emphasizes the use of local ingredients and fresh produce. OEO Studio collaborated with local artisans, drawing inspiration from the city’s rich crafts history. Materials such as ceramics, tatami mats, textiles, bamboo, and wood were used in unexpected ways, with colored tatami mats serving as acoustic wall screens and room dividers, and bamboo structures hung from the ceiling for zoning and intimacy. 

The Noma Kyoto & Ace Hotel Kyoto accommodation package starts at ¥120,000 JPY / $830 USD. A 2-night stay at Ace Hotel Kyoto is required to dine at Noma Kyoto.

Working closely with a Tenugui maker and Copenhagen-based Natural Material Studio, the main dining room ceiling resembles an underwater kelp forest. Furniture and Lighting include Time & Style cabinets, Santa & Cole wall lamps, and OEO Studio’s AYA collection by Stellar Works’ .

The interior design expertly blends Nordic and Japanese design traditions, paying homage to the local cultural context while aligning with Noma’s philosophy.