Just as its namesake suggests, Jiwa Singapura in McLean, Virginia yields a Singapore-meets-Malaysia experience with an upscale seafood-focused menu from chef Pepe Moncayo and interior design from Washington, DC-based studio //3877.
The design firm was tasked with transforming an underutilized retail space inside Tysons Corner Center into the unique, chef-driven dining destination.
A former Macy’s department store, the new concept balances inspiration from the modern built forms of Singapore with traditional patterns. Architectural elements employ repetitive minor geometries, forming major features that simultaneously act as art and create an immersive dining environment imbued with culture.
“Our challenge with the design concept was to drive home this unique Singaporean cuisine through the interiors, which was difficult because Singapore is a melting pot of all types of cultures and architecture,” says Molly Forman, //3877 interior design associate. “As a team, we had to ask: What defines Singapore? How can we communicate what is unique to Singapore through design?”
“We ultimately decided, the truth about the Singapore of today, is that it celebrates a sleek, overarching bold modernity,” Forman continues. “This includes structures, façades, and forms that have never been seen before or built elsewhere.”
The highlights of Jiwa Singapura’s design, Forman says, are the ceiling and central orchid structure. “The ceiling really emphasizes the volume of the space alongside the tiered façades and surfaces, making everything feel very grand. While a cultural element in the center, the orchid—the flower of Singapore—makes the restaurant feel grounded and uniquely Singaporean.”