New Practice Studio has recently completed the interior of Atlas Kitchen, a Chinese restaurant in New York‘s Upper West Side. The main concept is to represent the idea of the Atlas spatially, corresponding to contemporary artist Qui Anxiong’s work “New Classic of Mountains and Seas: Rooftop”, and together bringing a contemporary-hybrid-traditional dining experience to the neighborhood.
The Atlas Kitchen, occupied approximately 3,000 square feet, is in the Columbia University neighborhood. On the exterior, the design team used the contrast between dark metal and white plaster to echo traditional Chinese drawing techniques; the filleted canopy piece further articulates the curvilinear weaves in the sea.
Moving to the interior, the overall desaturated color palette recalls the aged traditional drawing quality, which is also used by the artist Qui; the use of plain oak ceiling and floor provides a warm dining experience. Spatially, the design team recombined two small existing storefronts into three distinct programs: table-bar area, main dining area, and a semi-private dining area.
The main dining area uses three elements to frame Qiu’s mural: simple oat wood panel ceiling, dark hexagon tiles with radiating seams that representing sea ripple, as well as surrounded light-green banquettes. The artist’s work “New Classic of Mountains and Seas: Rooftop,” further extends the discussion of Atlas from a set if spatial contentment to that of a temporal dislocation, by using a hypothetical cartographer’s perspective to re-illustrate modern technology and form and thus result in a contemporary-hybrid-traditional style and experience for contemporary readers.
The table-bar area not only has a great view to the street but also carries the vibe of the kitchen to from within. Next to the table, an etching map on the wall corresponded to Atlas using old cartographical style. The hanging plants above the table as well as white marble slab behind workstation both carried out the naturalistic aspect of Atlas. Finally, a semi-private area in the back used dark teal to recall the calmness of the sea for a better feel of the privacy. The round wall and banquette bring together a cohesive centrality to the gathers, putting the elegant lighting, white marble tabletop, cuisines, and delight conversation into focus. New Practice Studio also designed other contemporary Chinese restaurants in New York, including Hao Noodle and Tea, Tang Hotpot, Hunan Slurp, and The Braised Shop.