Commissioned to conceive a contemporary identity for The Noodle Rack restaurant in Changsha, China, Shanghai architecture firm Lukstudio integrates the tradition of noodle making in the spatial design by reinterpreting a noodle rack.

Nestled along an outdoor shopping promenade nearby the Xiangjiang River, the 50-sqm restaurant presents itself with its bamboo-cast concrete storefront. Two rustic steel boxes penetrate through the solemn exterior: the taller one is cladded with rusted steel panels and its shorter neighbor is built like a metal scaffold. These three elements together orchestrate a journey of discovery.


Walking past the entry box, a customer is greeted by a composed counter design lined with the bamboo mold used for casting the exteriors. As one proceeds towards the hall surrounding the grid structure, the interior layers start revealing themselves. Firstly, the original wall is stripped down to its structural blocks to resonate with the rustic metal grid.


Secondly, wooden boxes are carefully placed within the rack to showcase selected porcelains. Finally, a series of metal wires are draped across the dining room to create the lighting feature with hanging bulbs. Balancing the rustic interiors, these reflective strands create a poetic notion of dining under a noodle rack. Playing with the duality between rustic and refined, eastern tradition and western representation, Lukstudio introduces with this project a crossover between fast food chain and upscale diner.

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all images by Peter Dixie for LOTAN Architectural Photography