Set back from the lively Great Eastern Street, Nobu Hotel Shoreditch offers a dynamic blend of Nobu’s signature East-meets-West philosophy and the district’s creative and industrial energy. 

As well as an exclusive spa and fitness area, guests can take advantage of a series of innovative culinary experiences, available in London’s newest Nobu restaurant, the lobby bar, meeting space and in-room dining. 

The expressive and distinctive design for the new Nobu Hotel Shoreditch is the result of the collective efforts of Ron Arad Architects and Ben Adams Architects, and features overhanging floor slabs and cantilevered steel beams forming a frayed edge to the east, where a landscaped garden is terraced to provide natural light to the restaurant space. 

"The hotel’s interior was designed by local designer, Studio Mica. All parties worked in collaboration to create a seamless transition between the hotel and the restaurant" 

The hotel’s interior was designed by local designer, Studio Mica. All parties worked in collaboration to create a seamless transition between the hotel and the restaurant. 

Giving back to the local area, Nobu Hotel Shoreditch has opened a pocket garden, creating a public space between the vibrant streets and the calmness of the hotel. 

Each of the guest rooms exudes refined, relaxed sophistication, linking timeless design with contemporary functionality. Black joinery contrasts with the exposed concrete structure and soft textiles of the furniture to create an interior that is at once appealing to the eye and to the touch. This is juxtaposed with the bright white bathrooms, which feature a walk-in rain shower and custom-designed gold washbasin. 

Nobu Hotel Shoreditch also features unique suites, which overlook the courtyard and pocket garden from private balconies. These dynamic spaces have been meticulously designed to imbue the property’s distinctive architecture with Japanese aesthetic subtleties. The largest suite is the exclusive Nobu Suite, featuring two private balconies with views across London’s iconic skyline, a dining area, a lounge, and a bathtub. 

"The 240-seat Nobu Shoreditch restaurant was designed by Studio PCH. Inspired by the iconic Nobu look, the 340m² restaurant space’s sleek wooden finish creates a cool and contemporary environment"

Reached via a grand staircase, Nobu Shoreditch is bathed in natural light from the 5m-tall glass doors leading out to the Nobu Terrace. Perfect for open-air dining, the terrace, which can entertain up to 80 people, is split into four level terraces and available for private functions. Guests can also enjoy the semi-private dining space overlooking the custom-built open kitchen. Hosting up to 18 people, this is the perfect spot from which to experience the theatre of the Nobu kitchen. 

Behind the Nobu Shoreditch bar, an eclectic collection of vintage sakes, limited edition Japanese whiskies and rare champagnes are displayed for the discerning drinker. The separate lobby bar on the ground floor is also available to guests and the public, offering a comfortable atmosphere. 

The adaptable Kaijo meeting and event spaces at Nobu Hotel Shoreditch cater to a range of occasions, from family celebrations to business conferences. Boasting an abundance of natural light and versatility, Kaijo can be used as one large space of 180m², accommodating up to 200 people for a cocktail reception or 120 for a seated event, or divided into six separate spaces. 

Balance and mindfulness is the focus of the Nobu Hotel Shoreditch spa and fitness area, which offers a range of relaxation, wellness and beauty services. 

Realising the restaurant

Q&A: Severine Tatangelo, principal of Studio PCH (designer of the Nobu restaurant, Shoreditch)

What themes/inspirations inform the restaurant’s design?

The Shoreditch neighbourhood in London has been transformed from an industrial area into the creative hub of London’s East End. Nobu Shoreditch is part of this revival. We paid attention to the selection of the materials, such as teak, bronze detailing, and the fabric on the walls that matches the colour of the concrete structural elements in the space. 

We worked closely with London-based lighting designer Isometrix on the project, to celebrate the materials – from the high wood ceilings in the main dining area to the concrete walls throughout the space. We wanted to showcase the materials in an elegant way. 

We combined the local character with the influence of Japanese culture. The space stays pure, simple and elegant, so that the bar and the main staircase became design accents in the project.  

Could you take us through some of the stand-out design elements?

Upon entering the restaurant, you are immediately aware that the bar lies at its heart. Vintage sake bottles, Hokusetsu drums, Japanese Old Fashioned, barrel-aged Negroni and all-local liquors are lined up against the concrete wall, up to 15ft high. 

Reflecting London’s culture, we wanted to provide a luxurious and grand, yet fun and relaxed bar for the local businessperson and the cultured traveller. 

From the bar looking up, the concrete staircase is emphasised by the wood and the detailed lighting. On the right, the unobstructed view to the garden creates this indoor/outdoor relationship frequent in Japanese culture and architecture. 

What were the main challenges faced during the project, and how were they overcome?

Given the high ceilings and concrete walls, elevator, and staircase, the main challenge was to avoid creating a cold restaurant.

We also faced the challenge of a very linear floorplan, with large doors opening to the garden on one end. From a lighting design standpoint, we worked closely with Isometrix to avoid unbalanced lighting throughout the restaurant.

We created three different atmospheres to minimise this linear floorplan – the bar with high ceilings and towering bottle display, the main dining room with a wood ceiling and wood flooring to create a warmer and cosier experience, and lastly a more private dining room, with indirect dramatic lighting and fireplaces. 

How does Nobu Shoreditch differ from other Nobu restaurants in design terms?

We have designed several standalone Nobu restaurants, so our approach to designing Nobu Shoreditch was different as it is part of the Nobu hotel. Guests from the hotel will find design harmonies between the hotel public spaces going to the restaurant. 

We took into consideration the exterior of the building designed by Ron Arad, and the neighborhood, Shoreditch, formerly an industrial area of London that has become the creative hub of London’s East End. 

For his restaurants Chef Nobu created a unique Japanese-inspired menu with dishes that are fused with South American and Alaskan elements. With this in mind we tried to create a Japanese-inspired feel to the restaurant fused with local elements of the neighbourhood and culture thereby creating a space that is both unique and contextual at the same time.

On the hotel’s design

Q&A: Carolynne Shenton, director and founder of Studio Mica (designer of the Nobu Hotel Shoreditch)

Could you take us through some of the stand-out design elements?

 In the reception we designed a palette of materials that are textural and rich as a composition, and are in keeping with the creativity of the local area and Nobu’s values of simple luxury.

A limited colour palette is repeated across various materials and textures. We consciously chose to retain the materials’ natural appearance where possible, using patinated metals and timbers from different species to accentuate colour variations.

The reception is arranged as two spaces, defined by focal points to identify them as the hotel lounge and bar.

The lounge has a feature installation of reclaimed tiles, made on site with Studio Mica and the building contractors, MTD. The subtle colour variations and architectural shapes of the tiles have been woven together to create a complex texture. Within this we created small niches to intersperse tea lights.

The bar focal point is created by two central banquettes whose shape is repeated on the ceiling as large timber-framed structures defining a three-dimensional space guests sit within. The diffuse woven panels of the structure change in illumination from day to night. In the evenings the floating globes gently illuminate the seating below.

The frieze detail of the timber structure used one mile of hand-wrapped sisal rope!

The concept for the guest rooms was to create tranquil spaces through simplicity. The guest can engage and adjust the ambience of the rooms to suit their mood.

When a guest enters their room, ahead of them is a composition of four different planes that they can move to adjust the light, colours and ambience of the room – a moving privacy screen, full-height glazing and an artwork that slides across a natural woven textured wall provides the room’s blackout. The interaction of the four planes creates the changing character to the room.

 Each guest room has a wall-mounted cabinet inspired by old canvas travel trunks, which opens up like a bento box to reveal a colourful interior decorated with origami patterns and red lacquer. The cabinet hosts an illuminated tea box which presents to the guest the Nobu signature welcoming tea ceremony offered to each guest. Within the cabinet the guest discovers the TV, a minibar and vanity mirror.

In each guest room we created a completely white bathroom concealed within a black joinery box – the delight in the contrast from one moment to another is the experience we thrive in creating. 

On first appearance the bathroom is quite clinical, but a single gold accent at the vanity subtly repeats around the bathroom within integrated features such as the vanity mirror that pivots to reveal an illuminated magnifying mirror. The apparently simple space provides guests with a serene room for bathing.

What were the main challenges faced during the project, and how were they overcome?

The reception’s full-height and full-length glazed façade made the usually private lounge and bar completely visible to the street. We wanted to create a more intimate space for guests to relax in, whilst keeping the outside world sufficiently visible, yet with frequent glimpsed views to invite new guests to join the social space. We designed large joinery screens in the windows, framing different materials and openings — slats, pivot mirrors, and fabric-covered panels.

In the guest rooms there are a lot of amenities to accommodate. We set out to create a calm and uncluttered space. We designed a single piece of wall-mounted furniture that contains and conceals everything, creating the maximum expanse of floorspace. The volume of the furniture is minimised by designing it as different planes and tonal shades of a single colour palette. 

How did Studio Mica’s intimate knowledge of the local area impact upon the project?

Nobu in Shoreditch would, in the not-too-distant past, have been an unfathomable notion. 10 years ago, Shoreditch was a very different place. Shoreditch today is a complex hybrid of urban Bohemia, luxury living, the independent and cutting edge alongside the established very high end. 

Shoreditch is now comfortable in its role as a cosmopolitan, affluent, creative and instinctively stylish downtime village. A leisurely stroll around Shoreditch is more tempting an experience than it ever was. Although, literally, at the very centre of the centre, Willow Street is a curiously secluded, relatively tranquil street, slicing the Shoreditch triangle. Suddenly, Nobu in Shoreditch makes perfect sense (just about!).

Nobu itself brings some new delights, and the pleasure of the unexpected is a perpetual delight. There is the micro park, a piece of land given back to the local community as a way of thanks for accepting Nobu into their neighbourhood. Visitors who want to experience Nobu directly can enjoy the sunken courtyard terraces that lead from the restaurant. Beautiful gardens have a purpose beyond simply looking pleasing.

We have also embraced Shoreditch’s cultural heritage, and as a centre for contemporary art. We developed our guest room design to integrate art into the fabric of the space.

A series of paintings were commissioned for the project from local artist Sichi. These were then reproduced as panels that become the sliding black-out screens in the guest rooms. Each room has a large-scale artwork, and each of those has been hand embellished, making each one unique. The series of paintings is titled Taizu, a Japanese expression meaning ‘to stay’. This directly relates to residing in a hotel room, beckoning the guest to take time to reflect on the work created for them.

Photo credits: Claire Menary (restaurant), all others Will Pryce