How rippling the sea is, where the mountain island stands upright.
The mountain is overgrown with trees and lush grasses.
So lucky to get there, thus, I chant to express my feelings.
- an excerpt from Guan Canghai written by Cao Cao
Designed by IN.X Design
Photographed by Yan Zheng
Siji Minfu Peking Chamber occupies 1,280 square meters in the busy CBD surrounded by office buildings and lively residential communities. Following the constant brand upgrading strategy, IN.X has created a miniature universe in a limited space, where mountains, rocks, vegetation, stars, and coasts are all emerging indistinctly. As a result, the space experience of the Siji Minfu brand has made a breakthrough in the new design.
Space declaration of independence
In this project, the designer Wei Wu magnifies roughness to a great extent. Enveloped by densely arranged black stones, the restaurant frontage is greeting silently to all those who pass by it. The impressive visual impact makes it outstanding whether it's the rock or the magnificent coast imagined from it.
The diners need to walk a little west along the narrow road towards Junnan Lane to reach the entrance. Although the original restaurant door is very large, it lacks the fun of looking for the dawn of new hopes, and the southwards opening makes it unobtrusive. Therefore, the designer changed the door head to a narrow door and rotated it southwards to a certain angle, so all the traffic and people entering the alley can be attracted by the door head. The bold use of dark stone makes the regular building structure more powerful. Entering through the narrow door is an expedition away from the city temporarily.
The waiting area on the ground floor is featured by a huge “hand-made sculpture”, which is a stairway entirely made on site by randomly spliced wooden slats on the surface, leading to upstairs. Countless single materials together form a circuitous upward path that is full of power and dynamic, declaring the independence and uniqueness of space to all those who step into it.
After many times of corrosion and "splashing color" experiments, the designer team produced varied "splashing color" copper plates on site, which are widely used as facade materials. The turquoise patterns change endlessly, like a surging lake bottom, or a freehand landscape painting.
Under the blue-purple light rendering, walking upstairs along the stairway is like traveling through a fascinating passage in fairyland, where the rough and raw nature releases its vitality.
Unfold the space scroll
Exploring the dining scene
The open public seating area is set on the second floor. On the one hand, the regular layout makes the space complete, and on the other hand, there is a sense of bustle through the dense arrangement of dining places.
A long and narrow landscape is set in the center of the entire space, where the upper and lower sides are wrapped by the same stones at the entrance, presenting an effect of ink painting with natural changes in saturation. Leaving a long, narrow, and lush landscape in the center, the lush greenery and dark stone form a strong visual contrast, which makes the landscape more relaxing and refreshing.
The plant landscape "framed" by the stone coincides with the axis of the Chinese landscape painting, like a dynamic painting welcoming guests to the space, which not only becomes a transparent natural partition but also serves as the corridor connecting the central area and surrounding seating area, thus, the space has a sense of wholeness and clear regional planning.
All around, the "splashing color" copper plates rhythmically inject vitality into the space. A large number of chopped wood piles up high into an undulating mountain shape, which is put into the metal hollow niche as a part of the facade. The illusive sense of the ground floor gradually fades away, and the simple earthly flair returns little by little, in which the plants regrow, the smoke rises up, the lights are low, and the voices are friendly and noisy, what a prosperous dining scene.
Decorating for the tradition
On the extremely simple and natural palette, the use of artistic techniques, materials, and lighting makes the entire restaurant unique.
Traditional terrazzo and bold red color are matched to appropriately embellish the space, and brilliant lights are continued on the second floor. The wine cellar is illuminated, where the sense of clarity makes it particularly charming in the simple space. The red and green lights restrainedly outline the elegant public area, in which the cheerful sense of the times and the calm elegance blend together harmoniously.
The light and shadow in the entire space change with the growing plants, and the flowing vitality continues to bring surprises. Traditional materials and even seemingly useless old objects exude sheen after remodeling, emerging from the forgotten corner, appeared to be more attractive than pure contemporary. The new space seems to be the evidence of the simplicity, and their value can be excavated to this point.
Strategy first, design follows
Siji Minfu has been a mature catering brand in Beijing for 14 years. Faced with an increasingly younger customer base and diversified catering needs, it is imperative to get out of the "safe zone". IN.X uses their strategic catering design to reestablish the recognition and stickiness of diners with the constantly upgraded brand image. Closely connected with the new catering, social and urban needs, Siji Minfu has taken a step of exploration towards the “redefinition” of popular catering.