The project was repurposed from a former factory terrace. The unique location and unconventional structure of the original space allowed the designer to give full play to imagination and creativity. At the entrance, the flexible cut spatial block, dilutes the massiveness of the building, which is just like a modern installation artwork full of tension, leading the space to extend inward with its clear lines.
Within the space 4.6 meters high, a two-story structure was built in the atrium. The designer ingeniously created an open doorway in this area, which seems to bring people into another dimension. Under the staircase, there is a separate sunken area, deep and tranquil, waiting for foodies to step in.
Looking ahead, irregular ceiling lamps fall one after another. Walking forward, artificial natural landscape and windows of traditional Chinese garden style intersperse the space. As opposed to utilizing red-color elements commonly seen in seafood restaurants, the designer made use of wooden textures and white walls to set an elegant tone, thereby resulting in an otherworldly dining space.
The spatial design features serpentine circulations, which contributes to arising people’s curiosity about the multi-layered spaces as well as appetite for food. Through these inter-connected spaces, and the exquisitely designed micro-landscapes, people can have different views and feelings even at the same end scene.
The overall space offers varied visual experience at every step, which not only shows the designers’ s ingenuity and creativity, but also makes “eating” more interesting and meaningful. People come here not just to fill up their stomachs, but more importantly, to feel the unique collision between food and the space, which may generate new inspirations for life.
Through diversified decomposition and recombination of all units of the space, it presents a movement of spatial narrative, with an entertaining and polymorphic tonality. Tables and chairs with various forms are scattered in it, forming unpartitioned dining areas which are slightly different via distinct combinations, hence enriching people’s dining experience.
The dining areas bring the spatial theme back to food and communication. The lights in dining areas are soft, with dusky shadows, creating a private space for dinners at each table. All these areas are connected yet non-interfering, enabling people to relieve themselves and communicate freely. Pure and aesthetic, the space provides busy urban people a place to stay a while for relaxing.
Elaborately designed visual effects, combined with delicious seafood, together constitute this cozy and relaxing dining space. It guides diners to tell their stories and feelings, which injects emotion and soul into the space. As a local brand in Xiamen, all the ingredients that Xiaoyouyu uses and the culture it embodies are closely related to “water”. The designer took into account such background into the design. A water feature was placed at the center of the space, with the gurgling water endowing the whole space with vigor. The flowing-water-shaped lighting fixture above the front desk, the fishing vessel depicted with smooth lines, the fishery-resembled structure installed along the aisle, as well as peddles and bamboo baskets dotted at the corners, all manifest the local culture.
Lights penetrate rattan-made structures and cast shadows, making the modern and minimal space more charming. With minimal and refined designs colliding with the space, and modern lifestyle integrating with the local culture of respecting and enjoying the nature, a modern yet elegant dining destination eventually came into being. In this way, the space and people in it echo with each other. In other words, through the design details and spatial language, both local dinners and visitors from other places are able to interpret and feel the local fishing culture and the spirit behind it.
Project name: Xiamen HAIGAN Xiaoyouyu Seafood Restaurant; Design company: Xiamen Fancy Design & Decoration Co., Ltd.; Interior design: Fang Guoxi, Xie Chenyang; Decoration and furnishing: Zhang Qiyun, Zhu Jin; Photographer: Jin Weiqi