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Seiyo Wine & Sushi Bar

South End, Boston, MA

New wine boutique and sushi restaurant
Completion: 2005

Project Overview

A wine shop and restaurant in the historic South End of Boston. Seiyo Wine + Sushi Bar explores hybridity and synergy through architecture.

Project Team

Hansy Better Barraza
Anthony J. Piermarini
James Henry
Michael Beaman

Code Consulting

Albert Costa Architects

Mechanical Engineer

Ibrahim + Ibrahim

Lighting Design

Light This!


John Horner

Mix of Eastern & Western Traditions

Transient Beauty, Natural Changes

As a hybrid wine shop and restaurant, Seiyo Wine + Sushi Bar is a unique concept in Boston. Wine is valued for its ability to age gracefully. By contrast, sushi is always prepared and served fresh. The design of Seiyo Wine + Sushi Bar nests eastern and western traditions within another, creating a synergy between the two.

Architectural Elements & Materials

Wood Floorboards, Veneer Beam, Millwork

The palette for this project juxtaposes materials that age at different rates and in different ways. A grid of diagonal steel bars forms a latticed wine case against weathered brick. Brazilian cherry wood floorboards run up the walls and conceal overhead mechanical systems and define the restaurant. The millwork is composed of refined industrial laminated veneer beams floated over long spans to create the counters, bar tops, and tables.

Wine Display

Three-Dimensional System, Wine Cave

The display for various types of wine is set against the historic brick walls, where a structural lattice suspends the wine cases. Two parallel rows of steel bars are organized on a diagonal grid. A wood encasement extends to display wine in anthropomorphic terms to complete the three-dimensional system. To embrace the transience of the dining experience within the permanence of the wine shop, emptied wine bottles are suspended to create a translucent partition, and corks left over from parties and wine tastings are collected in a perforated metal screen.

About the Boutique & Restaurant

In the South End

Situated within the historic South End of Boston, Seiyo Wine + Sushi Bar balances the notions of freshness and maturity through architecture. The design embraces the notion of transient beauty and the natural changes that occur through the aging process.

Natural materials, such as cherry wood floorboards, juxtapose the brick walls and a steel latticed wine case. Strategically placed partitions collect preserved corks and bottles, creating a form of a community archive of previous gatherings. The open floor plan promotes social interactions, linking individual events to the collective experience. The successful merging of restaurant and wine shop within one community space creates a model for hybridity.