“We are calling it low-tech, K-Pop minimalism,” interior designer Ryan Genesin says of the super-slick interior of Ban Ban, a new Korean fried chicken joint in downtown Adelaide, Australia. From the edge of the sidewalk outside, a field of baby blue tile glides up the facade and under the folding windows, then sprawls across the interior’s dividing walls, bartops, banquette seats and even the tables – not only covering the flat planes, but wrapping every curve and corner in smooth ceramic. Only the exterior walls and the existing concrete floors are left uncovered by gleaming blue tile.
The use of DTile, a unique three-dimensional tiling system from the Netherlands, was an integral part of the design, says Genesin. “There is an entire series of pieces that curve: concave, convex, plus inside corner caps, external corner caps, et cetera,” he notes, explaining Genesin Studio’s installation
of continuous grids with sleek rounded corners.
To shape the 150-square-metre space, the designer took inspiration from the organic spontaneity of Korean markets, disrupting sightlines with tiled walls and pillars that offer what he calls “framed views” of the eatery and its varied seating options. A row of standard tables for two are positioned in front of a tiled bench, while the remaining seating is at tall, tiled built-ins. For the back communal table (and other bar-height seating), Genesin installed custom steel stools: Made from an eight-millimetre-thick steel plate seat and a hollow section of mandrel-bent pipe, the seats are designed for two – a riff on the idea of shared plates. In the same shade of green as the banquette’s seat cushions, the stools inject mossy notes that play off the tile’s pastel tone, as well as Ban Ban’s pink tableware.
“The use of DTile was tedious and challenging,” says Genesin, referring to the painstaking installation of a system that permits only three millimetres of tolerance – but, clearly, the effort paid off.
Genesin Studio defines a restaurant interior with a grid of tiles that replace hard angles with rounded corners