For this restaurant/tea room in Zhengzhou, the ancient capital of China, the studio S5design has played with a mixture of original inspirations: the colors orange and green (a terrazzo surface with a 1950s tone) recur in Mahjong, the very popular Chinese tabletop game. While the structure of the venue, with a counter and benches in masonry, suggests American diners, the style is pop, industrial and futuristic, thanks to theatrical use of lighting and reflecting materials.
The main characteristic of the design is precisely the light: indirect, to bring out the orange spaces in an even more vivid way, or emitted by large square, backlit pillars that set the pace, suggesting the image of a spaceship, boosted by robotic arms attached to a suspended track at the perimeter. The volume is multiplied by reflecting panels on the ceiling, and the metallic, ‘technical’ tone also returns in the corrugated sheet metal cladding of several walls. The tables, all equipped for cooking, are in satin-finish steel to reinforce the technical, sci-fi image of the space.
The open counter, facing towards the outside (we are in a shopping mall) is like a futuristic service station, while the self-service area is at the center of the shop: two areas underscored by the use of the color orange, which becomes the absolute dominant, especially in the second space. In a context like this one, eating becomes an entertaining, playful experience.
Design Director: Fan Riqiao
Photos: Chen Ming