Imagine dining surrounded by gangsta tattoo art. This is now possible in Aix-en-Provence, where patrons of a Japanese restaurant called Le Koi are surrounded by vast monochromatic motifs inspired by the Japanese Yakuza tattoos. The environment is a stylish feast for the senses. We may just forget to focus on our plates and get lost in the walls!

Now, the Yakuza are a notorious crime syndicate (gang would be an understatement), who are famous among other, more unsavory things for their beautiful and ornate tattoos. One of the many reasons for getting their whole body covered is that the dragons, koi fish and other motifs serve as “protection.” Besides, they clearly let others know where in society you belong.

Koi restaurant in the south of France was stunningly done, from walls to floors to ceiling, by architect Vincent Coste and graphic artist Claire Leina, who designed the art. Splashes of color like bright red steel chairs, natural elements like pale timber, as well as metallics contrast beautifully with the dramatic and somehow elegant black and white vibe. In the bathroom, the “tattoos” show up in burgundy.

We’re thinking the idea could be applied at home wallpaper depicting classic Japanese art motifs. Unless you can hire Coste!

About Vincent Coste

“Vincent Coste opened his architectural agency in his home town of St. Tropez in 2000, after collaborating with Rem Koolhaas in Rotterdam and Oscar Tusquets in Barcelona. His approach, based on his solid architectural background, is strongly linked to a Mediterranean context : climate, culture, history.”

“Every architectural design he creates takes into consideration the physical boundaries of a home, relative to its surroundings, making each project totally unique. Thanks to Vincent’s own interest in interior design, he extends his vision with those activities closely related to his work.  He is able to offer a global life scenario through architecture, interior design and furniture conception.”