The Upper in Tokyo by Luchetti Krelle
Luchetti Krelle channels a little bit of everything in The Upper, a double-billed restaurant destination held within the newly completed Marunouchi Terrace Tower of Tokyo’s downtown business district. Saturated colours mingle with precious metals and materials, Art Deco decadence, mid-century Italian vibes and the breezy nature of Brazilian modernism.
A varied intersection of cultures plays out across the two expansive floors. Expect a mid-century Italian-inspired geometric wall mural that spans both levels sitting comfortably next to a grand main bar with pale jade swirls that recall the decadence of Shanghai’s 1920s and the glamour of the Chrysler Building. The Sydney locals ensure Australia gets a look in as well with local contemporary furnishing elements added to the rooftop level, blurring the indoors with an outdoor terrace.
The entrance really deserves a mention. Gilded elevator doors part to reveal rich emerald green walls crowned by a latticed brass ceiling. The grandeur cannot be understated, glazed sapphire blue signage beckons guests towards a custom maître d’ concierge desk whose patinaed copper legs and curved aged brass base support a polished steel surface. Riffing on ancient shipping boxes with their rivet detailing, it subtly references the international patronage of the venue.
Opposite, a heavily veined modular granite bar integrated with a steel drinking ledge anchors the long rectangular dining area. Rising some 4.5 metres behind it, a tower of backlit bottles line the shibori blue lacquered latticed framework. A chequered pale and darkly stained oak floor extends beyond it, subtly referencing the grid of the streets below.
At the far end of the kitchen that spans the central axis sits a private chef’s table rendered both internally and externally in velvety grey plaster. Referencing the surrounding high rise metropolis, frieze stacked glass bricks line the walls above the eyeline. Back in the dining area midnight leather banquettes face generous views afforded by floor to ceiling glass.
Adding to the material melange, Kelly Wearstler’s Graffito curtains and seafoam white pendant lights by Anna Charlesworth offer a textural balance to the windows. Custom dome-shaped bronze swing arm lights hover over circular and timber-framed tables with marbled Marmoleum inlays, highlighting their swirling grey/mauve tones.
Ascending the internal staircase that wraps behind the bar, a more casual entertaining area unfolds—with a generous outdoor dining terrace better designed for aperitivo hour. Popham design tiles line the upper dining area like a patterned carpet inlay. Caramel flecked terrazzo floor tiles surrounding this central floor feature and glazed ceramic tiles upon tabletops add to the blurred inside/outside scene.
Green marble elements subtly connect the space to the below level, as does the skylight’s latticed timber frame and the interlaced leather panels on service stations. Japanese plum-toned dining chairs plus cherry blossom pink and matcha green leather banquettes mingle with rattan armchairs and unified teak joinery throughout.
Circular sconces dot the room’s perimeter including customised peridot green crinkled glass created by Design Studio. Igniting rippled patterns upon the smoothly rendered walls, they highlight their gentle transition to nubby textural surfaces above their high datum lines, drawing fluid sightlines towards the sky beyond the terrace threshold.
The drama unfolds like no other in this expansive dining destination by Luchetti Krelle.
[Images courtesy of Luchetti Krelle. Photography by Matsuno-san & Matsuo-san.]