A special spotlight on Ryutaro Matsuura, one of Perspective's 40 Under 40 2015 winners, and Nomura, where he serves as the creative director of the commercial facilities department
Ryutaro Matsuura is the creative director of the commercial facilities department of Japanese design firm Nomura. He was responsible for overall supervision and environmental design of Hankyu Men's Tokyo, a large-scale leading department store in Japan, as well as creative direction for restaurants and bars in the venerable, nationwide Righa Royal Hotel chain. In addition to work in Japan, he has expanded his work abroad, designing overseas flagship stores for brands such as Henri Charpentier and White Essence in recent years.
Matsuura also lectures at seminars held by manufacturers and leading Japanese design organisations such as Japan Commercial Environmental Design Association and Design Space Association, Japan. He was named among the Best 10 Rising Designers Under 40 by JCD, Japan's most prestigious commercial-environmental design award.
The New Hiroshima Hotel opened in 1955 as the first hotel in Hiroshima, Japan, to welcome distinguished guests from Japan and overseas. Carrying on its heritage, the Rihga Royal Hotel Hiroshima marks its 60th year in business this year. On this occasion, Nomura undertook a project to renovate Corbeille, its well-known coffee house, into an all-day restaurant.
Despite being situated in central Hiroshima, the hotel enjoys expansive and lush natural surroundings. To create a sense of openness inside the restaurant that built on and was connected to these enticing surroundings, the team at Nomura designed windows that embody the restaurant's identity and offer a sense of openness, so that it seems as if Hiroshima's breezes will blow into the restaurant. The team also incorporated motifs of Japanese maple leaves that are an integral part of the neighbouring landscape and oleander, Hiroshima's city flower, into the carpet, as if the wind had blown the leaves and petals into the restaurant.
Another overall motif is the use of multiple materials in the colour of India ink, from plaster and acrylic to woven textiles and wood. By layering and combining these materials, Nomura has given the space an India ink colour scheme imbued with warmth without feeling dark. The technique the firm used is similar to a ‘sumi-e’ or ink wash painting that contrasts light and dark shading for effect. Nomura looked to the ‘sumi-e’ works of Okaminzan, a famous painter who was a samurai from Hiroshima, for inspiration.