Return Restaurant by Return


Return, was founded by 5 architects in Xiamen in 2015.


We manage premises, which commences place exploration of dining / accommodation consumption space from the perspective of design pragmatism; we design spaces, which aspires to build connections among environment, city, human and architecture through the perspective of social problem resolution, with a view to sorting out the vein of old and new architecture reshaping, and carrying out material regeneration and innovation experiments.


Designed by Return

Photographed by HereSpace

A reasonable balance of space exists so that one can break away from the tradition of sensuality, routine, and personal experience, then return to the reality of rationality and sincerity.


The task of physics lies in the discovery of universal laws of nature.

As one of the simplest forms of such a law manifests as the invariance of some physical quantity, the quest for conserved quantities is not only reasonable, but also is of great importance as a research direction.

— Lauer

Venue Reflections


The project is situated in the sky garden of Xiamen Baolong Yicheng Mall, with box-shaped buildings of different sizes scattered around. The building per se enjoys the advantages of independence and floor height, which renders the pursuit of returning to rationality more meaningful. Irregular interlocking folds can create a deep spatial and temporal sense in the limited interior, which controls the environmental perception within the human walking path.


The scene to be conveyed by Return Restaurant is emotionally connected to the diners, and the spatial carrier will deliver a sense of surprise during the transformation of the background and role assumed by the food per se.

Design Vision

In the relationship constructed by rational nature, what remains unchanged must be the rebirth of nature, seeking out a certain almost primitive expression.


Endowing the material world with a smooth, graceful and aesthetic equilibrium.


Part 1

Erosion, mutilation, weathering


There must be a faint order and a strong disorder to establish order in the passing of disorder.


We emphasize the natural evolution of erosion, fragmentation, and weathering by processing the raw building walls and the materials per se, which highlights the process of the material being compromised by the forces.

Part 2

Rock, texture, metal


We shape texture, sense of history, conflict and dramatic representation, which are realized on physical spaces.


The game between exquisiteness and crudity is more like the game between the present and the past, where materials inherently are not related, but rather concerned with the creation of fiction.

Part 3

Refraction, diffusion, reflection


Guiding light;

Generating mystery;

Realizing exploration;

Creating fictional romantic scenes.


All substances in nature are light emitted; mountains, streams, air, and even ourselves are light emitted. This so-called substance which is a crumpled mass, casts a shadow, which belongs to light.

— Louis I.Kahn

Layout Realization


Regarding the spatial layout, there is no excessive division of space or clear-cut distinction, and the brick walls and concrete columns within the restaurant are preserved and blended into the general design. The glossy marble tabletop and the texture of the exposed natural stone on the wall contrast with each other, bringing out an abyssal sense of time and space through simple materials.

The soft light from diverse lighting sources intermingles and falls in front of the eyes. The design of wide floor-to-ceiling windows and doors enables light and wind to pass through freely, which fills the room with a sense of fluidity. The sunset of evening is mesmerizingly magnificent.


The afterglow sprinkles on the diners, where nature and space are conversing at this moment.