The design for Nobu in Monaco was inspired by the incredible and almost uninterrupted views of the sea. It is almost as if the restaurant is floating above the water. The colours are ever-changing. During the day, the pale blues of the sky are divided from the deeper blues of the sea by the line of the horizon. At night, the blackness is dotted with twinkling stars and the lights of passing boats. Martin Hulbert Design felt it important to make the most of this feature.
The design team introduced large blue mirrors to bring the view inside and, by means of these reflections, make the space seem even bigger and lighter by day and richer by night. The colour scheme throughout utilises this same palette of blues. The line of the horizon is replicated in the mirror behind the bar.
A sculpture of thousands of steel rods that hang from the ceiling in an abstract grid right through the restaurant was inspired by the coral reef that still lies in the water underneath. Given that this is Nobu, it is no accident that the finished work may also convey to diners the appearance of thousands of chopsticks.
Guests enter Nobu via an enormous bar containing a pyramid structure on which bottles are arranged and up-lit. The restaurant itself is equally spacious. It includes two slightly more intimate dining areas screened by semi-translucent sheered curtains. All the furniture is bespoke; the tables were designed specifically for Nobu, with care taken to understand how they would best fit with the operation of the restaurant.