Barcelona-based architecture and design firm Catanian has recently completed the Tingzhen Beef Rice Noodles, a small restaurant situated in Wangjing SOHO, Beijing, China. The client formerly had no experience in the catering industry. With a view to preserving the unique flavor of a bowl of beef rice noodles which has been imprinted in his mind since childhood, and to accommodating nostalgia for his grandma, he firmly gave up his previous career and set up the brand, which is named after his grandmother and inherits her recipe. Deeply touched by the brand story, the designer intended to present a unique dining space.
Nowadays the market abounds with commercial expressions, “aggressive” products and stylized spaces. As people are paying attention to colors in vague and keen on the trend of affordable luxury, how should we treat the Oriental consciousness inside our DNA? And how should we express our innermost feelings? As approaching the project, the designer wanted to rethink design, and restore Oriental “literati spirit”.
Excluding the kitchen, the usable space occupies less than 50 square meters. How to create fantastic spatial effects while interpreting deep emotions was a great design challenge. Human emotions are complicated, which can neither be expressed nor explained clearly. As to the client, his thought of grandmother and inheritance of her exclusive recipe are crystallized in a bowl of rice noodles. This is a heavy yet warm emotion. Considering those, the designer decided to make the space a sculpture, which presents sedate yet lightweight spatial effects.
Memory is like a monochrome dream. When you wake up from a dream, you may be able to recall the plot but no colors. The designer brought an abstract flourishing “tree” into the space, which is full of a sense of rhythm. Large areas of black hue showcase a great fluidity, just like the form of water — one of the principal ingredients of rice noodles. The entire space is endowed with a Chinese-style implicit aesthetic. Though the interior is implicit, it’s powerful enough to touch people’s heart, inspire imagination and evoke expectations.
Memories are growing in the space like trees, and are interweaving like a net that contains emotions. As for spatial forms and rhythms, the designer abandoned conventional design approaches, and shook off stylized symbols. The interlacing white lines symbolize memories, and echo with the white rice noodles in bowls.
The space exists for people, which needs to be able to evoke more possibilities when people enter in. The spatial design should take into account ambience and people’s state of mind at the moment. Only in this way, can an appropriate intangible spatial atmosphere be created, which further affects people’s sensory experiences. When the guests sit down and have a bowl of beef rice noodles that carry memories, they would be totally immersed in the ambience and experience within the space.
Time is a large borderless net, where people’s emotions, memories, hopes and regrets interweave. The dotted red hue is a visual highlight, which symbolizes the most unforgettable parts in everyone’s memories.Traces of life are stored in the spatial scenes, which enables people to feel the love and taste in memories.