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Sando's Japanese Burger Bar Redefines Fast Food Chic

Images: Alicia Dubuis

Nestled near the waterfront in Rive Gauche, Geneva, Switzerland, Sando, a Japanese-inspired burger bar, seamlessly blends fast food culture with high minimalist design. Crafted by the ingenious minds at Sapid Studio, the brainchild of Cecile-Diama Samb and Michael Piderit, this architectural gem embraces the Japanese concept of "boro boro" – a meticulous approach of reusing and repairing materials to create a multi-layered patchwork effect.

The essence of Sando lies in its thoughtful renovation, where the existing burger restaurant was transformed into a haven for Japanese-infused burgers like teriyaki tamago and miso bacon. Sapid Studio retained much of the original fit-out, adopting a retrofit-first philosophy to reduce waste. The interior, reminiscent of traditional Japanese ramen counters, features birchwood panels in natural and brown stains, forming a striking color-block effect that extends to the bar stools and window counter.


"It is the re-working of an existing element, stitched together with surgical demolition, alterations, and additions, that creates the unique patchwork that is Sando."


The heart of Sando is its large central bar. The bar is clad in brushed stainless steel, drawing inspiration from omakase counters. Hanging textiles, showcasing characters stitched by Lundi Piscine with recycled fabric, create an engaging dialogue between diners and staff. The commitment to sustainability extends to the tapestries that grace the walls, fashioned from reclaimed textiles in the boro style. Birchwood, finished in three stains, provides a warm contrast, culminating in a dining experience that seamlessly marries Japanese design elements with the comfort of a burger joint.

Sapid Studio has skillfully woven elements of Japanese dining culture, evident in the long window counters akin to ramen bars and stainless steel tables reminiscent of omakase restaurants. The result is an inviting space where mosaic-tiled floors, recycled plastic stools, and metal cafe tables merge to create an atmosphere that perfectly complements Sando's straightforward menu of delectable sauce-doused burgers and fries. In the heart of Geneva, Sando is a testament to the harmonious fusion of tradition, sustainability, and gastronomic delight.


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