Inspiring Restaurant Design by Kokaistudios at the Four Seasons Kuwait

sintoho and dai forni terrace four seasons kuwait at Burj Alshaya

Creating a beautiful, unique, functional, and overall fabulous restaurant design takes talent. And if the project is for the Four Seasons the talent must be top-notch. So, when the Four Seasons Kuwait at Burj Alshaya needed two stunning restaurant designs. Award-winning Kokaistudios got the job. Read on to learn more about the ultra-talented Kokaistudios. And see Dai Forni and Sintoho, the stunning dining spaces they created at the Four Seasons Kuwait.


Architecture and interior design firm Kokaistudios began in 2000 in Venice, started by Italian architects Filippo Gabbiani and Andrea Destefanis. In 2002, the duo decided to headquarter their firm in Shanghai. Since, Kokaistudios has grown into a multi-cultural firm of 60 people. The firm works on a global scale with projects in Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and North America. Kokaistudios partners with its clients to collaboratively develop innovative and groundbreaking projects in diverse fields of design.

Italian architects Filippo Gabbiani and Andrea Destefanis, founders of Kokaistudios
Filippo Gabbiani and Andrea Destefanis, Founders of Kokaistudios

Primarily the full-service architectural and interior design team focuses on developing cultural, corporate, commercial, hospitality and retail projects. However, they have also worked extensively on urban regeneration projects involving the requalification of heritage locations.

Kokaistudios aims to develop projects that add positively to the built environment and social fabric of the cities and countries in which they are located.


Four Seasons Hotel Kuwait Sintoho Restaurant

private dining areas at the four seasons kuwait hotel sintoho restaurant design by kokaistudios
The private dining areas at Sintoho are an ode to Chinese embroidery craftsmanship with bespoke chairs and walls featuring hand-printed linen fabric albeit with a wink to principal designer Filippo Gabbiani’s home town of Venice via the use of the Fortuny silk pendant lamps and red Murano glass inlays.

Sintoho offers an Asian signature dining experience to Four Seasons’ guests. The restaurant overlooks the Persian Gulf from the top floor of the building. The goal of the restaurant design was to create a destination that could elevate the street foods of Singapore, Tokyo and Hong Kong to fine-dining status.

The restaurant features a live dim sum station; robata grill; teppanyaki tables; a live teaology station; and specialty Asian afternoon tea. Thus, Kokaistudios conceived the restaurant design around the following. “The idea of celebrating the diversity and excellence of Asian cuisine and creating spaces and opportunities for the guests to experience the sights, smells and tastes of these food cultures up close.”

main dining room at sintoho four seasons kuwait restaurant design by kokaistudios
Main dining room at Sintoho

Kokaistudios looked to the commonalities between the cultures and created a design language that united them. Rather than looking at current times in these countries, they looked to the past. And specifically how Chinese culture has played a role in them over time.

The end result – a beautiful, rich and dynamic space. A perfect place to experience the cultures from which the cuisine originates. A space filled with delightful handcrafted materials and intricate details that play together in beautiful harmony.

More Images of Sintoho

Individual open live cooking stations offer guests the opportunity to experience up-close the preparation of robatta, teppanyaki, and dim sum and other delicacies from Hong Kong. The stations feature hand-hammered metal hoods and sculpted stone bases featuring images and motifs inspired by classical designs found in China.
tea wall at sintoho
The tealogy station features a tea wall fronted by an elaborate carved wood tea station where guests can select an expansive choice of fine teas
concrete wall and sushi bar at sintoho restaurant kuwait
An extensive shousugi ban burnt wood sushi counter inlaid with hand-hammered brass sits at the back of the main dining area. The space’s soft lighting comes from a series of water drop glass pendants produced by the London based artisans DHLiberty Lux.
common area outdoor terrace between sintoho and dai forni restaurants kuwait
From the outdoor terrace, a long corridor can be seen. The space is flanked on one side by an expansive green wall filled primarily with local desert plant varietals and on the other by a series of custom-designed water towers that combine to create a cooling and soothing experience.
luxury bathroom with asian inspired design
The bathrooms are an experience in and of themselves! Kokaistudio collaborated with Shanghai-based video production team Flatmind to create a series of Chinese shadow video installations that are projected on the grey hand-hammered Chinese stone.
black and gold bar stool - chandra by koket

Four Seasons Hotel Kuwait Dai Forni

four seasons kuwait main dining room at dai forni restaurant design by kokaistudios
The front dining area at Dai Fori features a stunning 12-meter high ceiling with expansive views onto the city and the Persian Gulf beyond. The intense sunlight and temperatures during the day-time drove the creation of an elaborate system of laser-cut curtains that help to maintain a cool and welcoming temperature.

Next door to Sintoho, and sharing the top floor’s large outdoor terrace, is Dai Forni. The restaurant was conceived to bring the freshness and tastes of Italy to Kuwait. Thus Kokaistudios began their design process by deciding which area of Italy to focus on. The team quickly selected the Mediterranean, and in particular the island of Sicily; a meeting point between the cultures of the Middle East and Europe.

Sicilian Inspiration

Throughout the space one finds testaments to Sicily. The semi-circular seating and custom-designed chandeliers take inspiration from traditional Sicilian woven baskets. And the intricately carved doors and sun-screens in the restaurant’s private dining rooms are inspired by traditional Sicilian lace patterns.

main dining area at dai forni restaurant design by kokaistudios featuring sicilian influences
private dining area at dai forni with walls inspired by silican traditional lace
Private dining rooms feature walls finished in rough woven rope which contrasts with the doors and sun-screens featuring an intricate pattern created in carved Corian inspired by local mashrabiya patterns but are in fact traditional lace patterns from Sicily.

Kokaistudios describes the process that led to the sensational end result. “By working with world-renowned craftsmen from Italy to Australia and points in between; employing subtly design instruments; and a focus on appealing to all the six sense we have created a project that is simultaneously rooted in Middle Eastern culture while being a true embodiment of Mediterranean and Sicilian food culture.”

entrance of dai fori featuring a green wall and large fire pillars
The entrance of Dai Fori

We envisioned the space as an oasis for all the senses with the entrance characterized by an immense green wall; itself an innovative structure filled with local desert plant varietals; and large fire pillars that frame the entrance experience and bring the guests along a sandstone floored corridor into main dining areas centered by an expansive antipasti counter covered in a pink-hued hand treated cooper from Italy.


More Images of Dai Fori

dai forni restaurant design by kokaistudios
The main scene at Dai Forni – to the left sits an antipasta bar, to the back the wood-ovens and to the right fire pillars.
copper wood burning ovens at dai fori restaurant
Three large hand-hammered custom made copper wood-burning ovens produced in Australia occupy center stage in the space.
While the restaurant is centered on the concept of fire the bathrooms act as refreshing counter-point featuring hand-painted blue and white Italian tiles and video installation of a water-fall designed by Shanghai-based video designers Flatmind. 

The design of these two stunning spaces showcases Kokaistudios amazing talent for creating architecturally charged interiors. Through their original use of materials and light, they create expressive spaces that mystically connect with people.

Words by Anna Beck Bimba

All Photos by Seth Powers / Courtesy of Kokaistudios

For more beautiful interior design and architecture keep exploring Love Happens!