Designed by MDDM Studio in Beijing‘s Chaoyang District, Lievito is a new restaurant for socializing while sharing slices of gourmet pizza and enjoying a glass of wine in a space defined by grey stone volumes and brass details.
The space comprises a long strip that stretches from a lobby of a hotel on the south side to a big opening on the north side, facing a river. Along this stretch the design creates different environments – from very public to very intimate spaces – to offer various atmospheres to the customers, following the natural light access in the space.
The big, fully operable folding window in the north is inviting guests to the restaurant’s bar and aperitivo area. This space is dominated by a free-standing stone bar counter enlightened by the insertion of a brass screen. The bar area is lightly furnished to offer space for any form of socialization. A step up, armchairs creating a lounge area next to the window, which can be easily extended to the terraces due to the fully operable folding window.
Taking a step down from the bar area, the customer reaches the dining area. The length of the space is emphasised by various elements as the long light along the west wall and its replication as stripe insert in the wall. The kitchen, organized in parallel to this setting, takes the shape of a stone block carved out to host an open kitchen windows, a long bench for the dining area and the niche for the cocktail in the bar.
All areas are in direct contact with each other but still separated through steps and different room heights. The material selection features few but distinctive materials. The bar and the kitchen are designed as solid stone blocks. Lights, furniture and other elements are made of black steel.
Small elements in brass enrich the space without breaking the grey palette: a long ribbon runs the entire west wall, a custom linear lamp floats under the open ceiling, a counter faces the open pizza kitchen and a golden box separates the dining bench from the bar: each seat enjoys a glimpse of brass that create a vibrant exception in the neutral tone of the stone volumes and the ragged cement of the wall finish.
The entrance in the south is a round brass niche that with its simplicity works as an attraction point in the heterogenic environment of the lobby.
In the north side, the new staircase leads the access to the neighbour restaurant Fiume and to the stone terrace of Lievito. As a recall of the interior decoration, a linear external light in brass run on the top of the entrance. The same element is duplicated near the parapet of the terrace to create a comfortable shelve to hold the glass while enjoying the river view.
The visual identity with logo and menus completes the overall design of the restaurant.
all images © Jonathan Leijonhufvud