Humbly located at 25 Maodao Street, a once-derelict bungalow borders the city on the southern front, gate of the "Old City", is now home to Pine & Dine. At first glance, elements from the neighbourhood's historic past, such as the traditional perimeter walls, dot the premise. One will easily recognize the traditional tiled roof overhanging the entrance, a relic that had been passed down from generations ago. At the same time, exposed blue bricks that make up the traditional perimeter walls that had stand erect for over a century shyly take peeks of the outside world from behind the pieces of decaying wall paint. As traditional buildings in south of the city continue to age with time, their age only becomes more distinguishable, prompting the question of how life was like in another era.
The Pine & Dine project is a "preservation, restoration, and rejuvenation" project that focuses on the contrasts between "the static and the dynamic", "the old and the new", and "the past and the future". Along the lines of contrast, inspiration behind situating a Western style eatery in the center of a traditional Chinese neighbourhood already is an abstract idea, one that is not bound by architectural principles or historical expectations. Rather, it is a breath of fresh air and new energy into a neighbourhood that has long outlived its prime. Preserving the original perimeter walls surrounding the front courtyard, the architect illustrates a reflection of the structure's historic past. Amidst the traditional architectural themes emerges modern design elements, systemically creating a channel for which the old and the new can smoothly integrate, inspiring passersby a sense of curiosity to unfold its astounding mysteries.
Upon entry, one will notice the unusual depth of the interior space, which had been purposefully extend by removing 3 demising walls to transform 3 separate dwelling units into one contiguous space. The original framing and pillars, of which its coating remains unchanged, have been preserved to maintain its original architectural themes. To fully rejuvenate the space, the traditional elements are complemented by freshly coated white walls and flooring, elegant wooden dining chairs, and other modern furnishings. Above it all is a collection of ambient overhanging lights that flicker behind white silk sheets, rendering the space into a dynamic one that seems to have a life of its own. Large panels of floor to ceiling glass secured by the organic qualities of wooden frames welcome the calming glow of daylight into the structure. On a sunny day, the ever-changing sunlight throughout the day creates a wonderful display of colorful gleaming lights which are actually the reflections of sunlight bouncing off various items in the dining hall.
In the central courtyard stands the original exterior walls that consist of layers of blue brick placed upon a layer of gravel. This gravel, which surround the main structure, is also a timeless relic that undyingly gives anyone who enters an awe-inspiring experience and a journey back in time.
During the daytime, Pine & Dine is a casual café serving brunch, coffee, and cakes. However, as the sun sets, Pine & Dine becomes a cocktail bar and grill that serves as a place of comfort for everyday individuals to retire from everyday life. Transitioning from its casual daytime service to its trendy night time service, the space had been specifically designed to retain a certain level of flexibility that delivers a unique dining experience throughout the day.
Continuing its motif of contrast, the bar section, aptly named "The Den" is uniquely situated on the second floor in the style of a treehouse. The chairs have been elevated to mimic the feeling of being served off the side of a treehouse, bringing about a sense of imagination, intimate conversations, and storytelling.
The entire space emanates a sense of warmth and tranquility behind an antique backdrop that brings visitor back in time, an experience of Deja vous. The minimalistic design, sharp edges, and antique furniture together with luscious plants that had been spread throughout the space seamlessly combines the old and the new, a modern take on preserving the past, rejuvenating decay, transforming our perception of time.
Yijie Chen, young interior designer, designdirector of Nayun Design. I n 2010, he graduated from the interior design majorof Nanjing Forestry University, and has been engaged in the design industry for nearly ten years.
He has completed many high complexity design projects, and won unanimous praise in the industry with professional ability and rigorous attitude. At the same time, he has made great achievements in many domestic and foreign design competitions.