An Intersection of Design, Culture and Dining

26 Nov 2019
4 min read
Design-forward marque, Lexus, has curated a bespoke brand-experience space, INTERSECT BY LEXUS, which immerses its guests in the Lexus lifestyle through masterful design, innovative programming and culinary creativity.

Luxury lifestyle brand Lexus may be known for their inspired and innovative vehicle designs, but if there is one thing that the brand understands, it is the beauty of an experience. To widen the range of this unparalleled Lexus experience, the brand has developed INTERSECT BY LEXUS, which are unique, luxurious spaces designed to engross guests in the world of Lexus, without getting behind the wheel. Rather, the INTERSECT BY LEXUS spaces allow guests to experience the luxury of Lexus through the elements of design, gastronomy, hospitality, and technology in thoughtfully curated venues around the globe that encourage collaboration, reflection and creation.

There are three INTERSECT BY LEXUS venues worldwide: the maiden hub in Tokyo, one in Dubai, and the latest edition in New York. All three locations are strategically placed in the heart of their respective cities that best complement the Lexus brand, and are designed by renowned interior designer Masamichi Katayama, principal and founder of celebrated interior design firm Wonderwall and professor of interior design at Musashino Art University.

Katayama’s resume includes the design of Japan House London initiated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan; Pierre Hermé Paris in Aoyama; and the Uniqlo global flagship stores in New York and Ginza. His style, which has garnered him with international acclaim, focuses on respecting conventional and traditional design philosophies whilst weaving in modern-day elements to achieve a well-balanced space – and Katayama’s creative conception of the INTERSECT BY LEXUS spaces are the most suitable design proposal for the brand.

“Places of possibility which can be enjoyed in diverse and distinctive ways, by people from all walks of life,” is how the interior design of the INTERSECT BY LEXUS locations were envisioned by Mr Katayama.

Oozing with Takumi (Japanese artisan craftsmanship) and Omotenashi (Japanese spirit of selfless hospitality), two of Lexus’ guiding design principles, the INTERSECT BY LEXUS hubs showcase the brand’s dedication to uncompromised hospitality and state-of-the-art craftsmanship. The brand’s quintessentially Japanese artisan philosophy that blends skill and spirit is evident throughout each venue, in which only the highest quality materials are used with an immaculate a ttention to detail to reflect the authentic aesthetics and identity of its surrounding city.

Every INTERSECT BY LEXUS location, with their classically elegant white, cream and brown color palettes, boasts motor-vehicle motifs and shares signature design elements as odes to the history of Lexus. Each venue flaunts the same strikingly beautiful façade: an intricately woven, geometric bamboo-laminated lattice window screen inspired by the iconic Lexus spindle grille. A collage of white-washed Lexus vehicle parts commands each INTERSECT BY LEXUS location, while a wall display of hundreds of miniature car models pays homage to the motor industry. Even the leather used in the Lexus LFA supercar is featured in each INTERSECT BY LEXUS location, making the interiors of INTERSECT BY LEXUS a flawless physical embodiment of the brand’s production origins and design values.

The New York location, nestled in the epochal Meatpacking District, is the largest of the three INTERSECT BY LEXUS hotspots, and boasts a 16 500 square-foot floor plan divided amongst three stories. Each floor is distinct in character, evolving seamlessly from one story to the next. The ground floor features a café serving up the finest coffee and light snacks, sandwiched elegantly between a public gallery and CRAFTED FOR LEXUS retail area brimming with a collection of lifestyle items produced by artists that harmonize with the Lexus philosophies.

The second floor of the NYC venue features an exclusive gastronomic offering. With cuisine as a central focus of the INTERSECT BY LEXUS experience, this fine-dining restaurant aims to take gastronomy to new heights. Through a rotating “Chefs-in-Residence” programme overseen by Danny Meyer’s acclaimed Union Square Hospitality Group, the restaurant will see some of the world’s finest chefs showcasing their best fare, delivering innovative new concepts in creative cuisine in a periodically transforming menu.

The inaugural chef-in-residence to helm the Restaurant at INTERSECT BY LEXUS – NYC was talented French Chef, Gregory Marchand, the mastermind behind the celebrated Frenchie Restaurants in Paris and London. Marchand’s culinary offering fused international flavors inspired by his experiences in the culinary industry with deep-rooted traditional French techniques, such as Halibut a la Grenobloise, Confit Duck and Baby Leeks with a Parmesan Sabayon.

Marchand’s gastronomic approach is based on his worldview: “People’s mentalities are evolving, people’s tastes are evolving – so you need to evolve too.”

The current chef-in-residence is Tomás Kalika of Mishiguene. born in Buenos Aires and trained in Jeruselum, Kalika honors the diverse palate and rich culture of the Jewish diaspora. Attention to detail lies at the core of the Chef’s culinary approach, from the music to the tableware, everything that is part of the dining experience has been carefully thought through. 

Alongside the restaurant on the second floor is a cocktail bar and lounge that serves up seasonally-inspired signature creations as well as reinvented classics. The top floor plays host to a private gallery, whose schedule will see it undergo a multitude of transformations for culturally relevant programming concepts including full-immersion events, art installations, film screenings, panels, performances and other enticing experiences.

The Tokyo and Dubai venues also boast a range of culinary selections fit to please those palates seeking the finest fare in Tokyo’s cutting-edge Aoyama district and luxe Dubai International Financial Centers alike.

The ground floor of INTERSECT BY LEXUS – TOKYO features an elegantly designed café with sleek black leather banquettes and a walnut counter with a marble top, from which world-renowned Fuglen coffee is served alongside delectable pastries, while the bistro and library lounge on the second floor provide the native fair in the form of modern-day Tokyo-themed foods.

The contoured ceiling and modernist chandeliers of INTERSECT BY LEXUS – DUBAI are as chic its food scene, which focuses on pure, organic cuisine crafted using only the finest and locally produced ingredients. With the dining-area lined with marble-accented bookshelves and inviting leather banquettes, the Dubai venue is as luxurious as the city itself.

The pièce de résistance of all the INTERSECT BY LEXUS locations is, however, the Garage. An exhibition space for car culture and lifestyles, the Garage brings innovative installations and exhibits to life as part of the experimental collaborative programming envisioned by Lexus, which intends to “intersect” facets of culture on multiple levels and deliver creative, exceptional moments to their INTERSECT BY LEXUS cities and beyond.