Blue Lake Restaurant
Fully filled with skyscrapers, Beijing had become suffocatingly crowded nowadays. Physically and mentally tired citizens desperately try to escape from it, and devote themselves into nature or someplace where life quietly slows down. This restaurant locates on a gentle hill inside Lido Garden, surrounded by primary forest. With respect, designers treated the primary forest quite delicately and tried hard to interpret the spirit of the original architect.
They seek to construct a unique building, in harmony with the surrounding natural world, growing out from the woods, and still keeping the life of the original building without being interfered, continuing to run inherently and flowing out of it, making the nature become a driving force behind the building, presenting the user with a history which keeps and blends perfectly into its surrounding.
Look at that wretched and somehow lonely old building, designers decided to set MEMORY as the cultural essence and TIME as the theme. Let every visitor experience the nostalgia from past life of the Blue Lake, or ours and our parents` childhood memories, let them enjoy a daydream of time and space.
UNIQUE PROPERTIES / PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
This restaurant was renovated from an old building which located in a peace and quiet garden in Beijing, with primary forest surrounding and ground gently sloping. The new building was like built on stilts which made it possible to appreciate natural views from every angle by using smooth glass facades. Designers combined tradition oriental philosophy of Ying Yang, built up Ming Space (glass space) and An Space (entity space). Trees are growing up inside the building and their dense crown spontaneously became the roof, that`s why designers intentionally used glass facades to let the sunshine, the raindrop, the snowflake, and the moonlight to go through, and let visitors inside experience the intimacy with nature, and the changes of seasons and weather. Also the designers built up an inner courtyard in An Space to emphasize natural feeling; two spaces are divided by room-high folding glass-doors. Whenever the doors are open, they become an entirety, people and nature flow freely which makes the biggest highlight of this restaurant.
Entry steps of the restaurant are made of quarry stones. A piercing partition on one side and the wall of An Space on the other side makes the corridor. When the sunshine come down through the partition and shadows on the floor, our moods will melt in this warmness, and get ready for comfortable and relaxing dinner. If you look outside through the partition, still lake and forest are right in front of you. Ming Space and An Space are connected by the lobby; they can be used separately or wholly. Ceiling and walls of Ming Space are all made by steal frame and transparent glass, people dine here would forget all their troubles and enjoy in the tranquility and comfort. Walk forward, a wooden bridge will be under your feet, water slowly flows, maple trees swing aside and their branches extend to the roof. They tried to express their respect and love for nature on this design.
OPERATION / FLOW / INTERACTION:
This restaurant is a renovation, the original layout was kept as the Ming Space and An Space, the facades, landscape and interiors were based on that. They planned an inner courtyard alone with An Space to activate the environment, made it more flowing and natural. Meanwhile wooden bridge and plant scenery were made as interlude area to let people relax. Highs and lows were intentionally designed for dining area arrangement, which made the visional feelings more complicated when you look outside. They kept dozens of real trees inside the restaurant; dinners would feel like eating in a great outdoor view. Outside Ming Space, a wooden terrace was redesigned, beach umbrellas and trees, the smell of flowers, how great and relaxed could it be!
PROJECT DURATION AND LOCATION:
This project is in beijing and took about 4 months
FITS BEST INTO CATEGORY:
Interior Space and Exhibition Design
PRODUCTION / REALIZATION TECHNOLOGY:
Merbau Wood,Hollow Glass,steel structure,Texture coating
SPECIFICATIONS / TECHNICAL PROPERTIES:
900 square meters
Restaurant, garden, forest, lake, green, nature, ecology, glass pavilion.
A program of overall design of architecture plus interior and garden landscapes, this is a restaurant built in the woods of a park located in the urban city. The park is surrounded by high-rise buildings, where people can sit around, dine together and get relaxed in order to stay away from the hustle and bustle of city.
The greatest challenge we faced when we were building the restaurant is how to subtly construct the building in the woods. In addition to protecting the trees from being destroyed to allow them to freely grow out of the building, the service space of the building cannot be affected as well.
We use glass frame structure to enclose and protect the indoor trees, and set up a glass door for entrance, so that the trees can be watered at any time. The trees can freely grow out of the building to form a thick umbrella-shaped canopy aloft the glazed roof, enabling people indoors to experience the difference in natural beauty that the changes of trees bring all the year round.
This is a brand new building, which comes out from the woods in a way that architecture and trees closely connect to each other and mutual coexist, and enables the breath of life of the original building to naturally run and flow without any interference. With harmony with nature as a driver behind the building, we present the users an architectural space that retains historical memory yet fully integrates with the surrounding garden landscape.
In design, the building is built on the foundation of its original one in combination with elevation and overhead operation, so that the surrounding natural landscape can be taken in from multiple angles, allowing visitors to have a commanding view of the whole lake to the east of the building. The integral construction receives a thorough integration, and combined the oriental concept of unity of Yin and Yang to create two sections including bright pavilion (made of glass) and shady pavilion (made of entity object). Moreover, there is an inner courtyard specially designed in the space to enhance the natural feeling from the interior of the restaurant. The inner courtyard is separated from the bright pavilion with a full height glass folding door, which is incorporated after being opened so that the stream of people and natural air can freely flow. The setting of inner and outer courtyards makes the space more comfortable for people. The inner courtyard is just like the ‘lung’ of the building to inhale the natural air infiltrating from the outside, meanwhile, the building itself gets the breath specific to its own physical sign out, allowing the whole building to freely and cheerfully breathe in the woods.
After the redesign and rebuilt, the restaurant’s turnover saw a thirtyfold increase. Plus, guests all spoke highly of the environment, design and overall comfort of the restaurant. According to the statistics of the ranking of netizens’ comments on restaurants, it was among the top restaurants across the city of Beijing. The restaurant has a full house every day, and guests need to book ahead for dinner. As the brand reputation increasingly gets high, lots of guests are willing to come here for a special purpose to feel its particular dining atmosphere from very far place or other parts of the country. Manager of the restaurant and its employees are all proud and pleased that they have an opportunity to work in such a great environment to serve customers who love the restaurant. The restaurant owner recognized honestly that they benefit from the design most, and gave his high praise and credit for our design and the service we designed. Moreover, the positioning of overall design style we made for the restaurant plays a critical role in the future development of the restaurant and the promotion of the brand.
This design takes memory as the culture appeal point of the restaurant, makes time-lapse become the theme of space interpretation, and enables anyone who comes to appreciate and experience it to feel the nostalgia generated by the previous existence of the Blue Lake as well as our own childhood or our parents’ childhood that they described to us before, making people produce endless imagination for space.
The quiet park environment, varied natural light and high quality service infrastructures brings a unique, dynamic spatial experience imbued with humanistic art atmosphere to the users. In addition to meeting the customer requirement, the restaurant is perfectly combined with the environment around the building, fully respects the specific natural development, and builds a spiritual space for people to rehabilitate, breathe naturally and appreciate good life time, which is closer to the people’s inner desire, creating a meaningful, comfortable and agreeable architectural space that is fully close to nature.
Challenge one: partially redecorate or take down and rebuild.
The initial idea of the owner was to keep most of the architect, only adjust the entry location and redo the interior. But the original building was in seriously bad condition, and the height was not enough for the use of a modern restaurant. Secondly, the original layout was not very reasonable; it could be difficult to match the new needs and cultural positioning. The designers successfully persuaded the owner increased his budget to thoroughly rebuild the building. Persuade and compromise with the owner at the beginning could be the most difficult part.
Challenge two: protect precious trees and plan functional reasonable layout
There are dozens of old and big trees inside Ming Space, they are part of the garden where the restaurant locates; to protect them delicately shall be the highest respect to the environment and the original building. Inevitably this restaurant needed brand new cultural positioning and customer flow line. Therefore, designers needed to arrange everything, including dining area, receptionist, bar and scenery cleverly around those trees. Meanwhile, trees are protected by glass fencing with open doors (for water drainage and lighting examinations).
TEAM MEMBERS (2) :
Yi Chen and Muchen Zhang
The design is our original designWe have complete power of interpretation of this design.