Zhongliang Land Plaza COFCO Life Restaurant is a fresh and elegant "courtyard" hidden in the bustling city. Surrounded on all four sides, COFCO’s placement alludes to the Chinese idiom of viewing life as if at the bottom of a well. If one only sees the sky from this one limited vantage, it may perhaps be the most beautiful view to ever be experienced. COFCO Life Restaurant is a condensation of beauty amidst the urban well of surrounding Dongcheng.
Designed by Shibo Wang
It is designer Shibo Wang’s primary initiative to use the dining space to express culture and people’s lifestyles. From substructure to interior and layer by artistic layer, Shibo Wang expresses how COFCO Life is meant to convey an open ecologically-efficient concept; showing the functional diversity of the food plaza and the immaculate professionalism of the industrial chain, all within a landscape of polished wood and softened light.
The Chinese prefer the enclosed dining form, therefore the interior of the restaurant repeats the enclosed, well-like surrounding, though with far greater implications. All four sides of the central dining area are surrounded by wooden structures providing a definitive boundary and an emphasis on communal space. An abstract canopy covers the spacious central "patio", naturally forming a wide public dining area which relies on the tree as its synthesizing edifice.
In the dining areas one finds traditional Chinese porcelain, absorbing in its delicacy and in its inspirations of sky, land, and the blending of all life’s colors. Slated wood spirals upward into the night-dark ceiling reminding us that a synthetic setting is still created from natural materials.
The open cooking area is both a showcase for food and part of the dining ceremony. The communication between people and food begins before eating. Whether it be the aroma wafting from the kitchen or the internal anticipation of a satisfying meal, the open cooking spaces quietly tug at the senses, preparing diner’s for a convivial and familiar experience.
Designer Shibo Wang emphasizes a concept he has dubbed as "post-field, pre-localization", the emphasis on the journey ingredients undergo from the field, through the hands of skilled chefs, and finally to the diner’s table. “The main processes of the production are displayed in a panoramic view”, he continues, again highlighting the act of creating a dish from its sourced components.
The varying structures of the eaves highlight differing modes in angular architecture. Each dining section is characterized by a unique display of geometric craftsmanship, calling for pluralistic expression under unifying themes.
With artistic openness, naturalistic expression and humanistic care, COFCO Life Restaurant creates a dining and leisure space with familial resonance and cultural significance.