Like rippling waves on a waterway, a grid of sinuous panels hangs down from the ceiling of the Banu Hotpot Restaurant in Zhengzhou, China, a space designed by New York-based firms Studio Link-Arc and Kane Architecture and Urban Design. The architects renovated the interior and façade of an existing building to create a welcoming architectural identity for visitors to this restaurant, which belongs to an innovative franchise.
Paying homage to strong local tradition, the restaurant’s name refers to men who helped boats navigate China’s most treacherous rivers, who would feast on hotpots to recoup their strength. The interior design references this local tradition through a complex ceiling decoration that reproduces flowing waves, created out of hundreds of metal panels perforated by organic shapes in a variety of sizes. These elements were designed in a wavy pattern to create a sense of depth in the space and an evocative chiaroscuro effect. Combining a series of basic modules, the weave extends along the main façade without any breaks between inside and outside, in an architectural solution that adds a sun shading system to the glass exterior, and invites passers-by to walk in to this new city landmark restaurant.
The concept of creating an environment inspired by nature is further developed in the room’s distribution layout, which broke up the orthogonal arrangement of the previous structure and replaced it with a more fluid and harmonious space organization approach. The restaurant’s north-south rectangular floor plan covers an area of 2,100 sq. m. Arriving guests are greeted at the ground-floor entrance by a double-height lobby and a curvilinear staircase leading to the upper floor. Both levels feature a large main room, open kitchen and private lounges housed in conical volumes, plus service spaces located on either side of the floor plan. Chromatically, the design exploits contrasts between white vertical surfaces and earthen-colored ceiling panels; a cooler, darker shade in a glossy finish was chosen for the floor. Wooden tables and chairs with a rustic feel fit into what is a palette of neutral hues, with the exception of the private dining rooms, which feature lively bright orange-painted walls.
Location: Zhengzhou, Henan, China
Client: Banu Hotpot
Gross Floor Area: 2,100 m2
Architect and Interior Designer: Studio
Link-Arc, Kane Architecture and Urban Design
Main Contractor: Henan K-Rich Decoration Engineering
Lighting Consultant: Chen Chen
Photography by Qingshan Wu, courtesy of Studio Link-Arc
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