Chef Andre Chiang has teamed up with Singapore-based architecture studio WEIJENBERG to create a restaurant that would reflect the visceral and primate mantra of its name “RAW”. The collaboration brought two minds together with a mutual ambition to create something extraordinary.
Andre’s artistic vision for food allowed WEIJENBERG to discuss the design on a much deeper level, and while Andre had specific ideas about the interior design, he also provided the creative freedom to actualize a new entity of restaurant that is fast becoming a hallmark of Taipei – that of gastronomy fused with design, where food meets art.
There was no one inspiration for RAW, it was a true case of two creatives meeting on equal terms, challenging one another and evolving an idea. Along the way there were many opportunities to simplify the design, make it smaller or even take out large sections. But they persevered with the courage of conviction that we were creating something truly unique and managed to steer the project exactly as we had envisioned. The artistic tension between contractor and the client led to the result that can be seen in the restaurant now.
André’s food is always presented with artistry providing a muse for WEIJENBERG to select colours and tones accordingly to keep the main dining area minimal. The desired aesthetic was to create a close proximity between customer and food – table and chairs with lighting that would almost shine on the dishes only. The experience of Andre’s food is intended to be intimate. This intimacy has permited to use wood as our main medium in the restaurant in its pure state to encapsulate the customers within a wooden sculpture in a gentle manner.
A 65 meters long wooden sculpture stands in the middle of the space as a centerpiece of the restaurant. Around it, each tables have a different shaped table top, to break the space and monotony further, preventing a clustered feel. It also creates a sense of variety as you can dine at RAW many times and never have the same seat or view.
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