Weizai Restaurant, located in the new financial district of Changsha Xiangjiang, is far away from the hustle and bustle of the downtown area. It is surrounded by modern glass buildings and busy traffic. After a busy day of work, modern city residents yearn for a place where they can find peace of mind and comfort to organize their day.
This is a Japanese kaisekiryouri charcoal barbecue restaurant. We hope to infuse this venue with the subtle and secretive cultural traits of the East - "finding a peace in the hustle and bustle of the city" - and to release the inner pressure by using the quietness of the space to separate the hustle and bustle of the surroundings.
At the entrance, the design reshapes the limited small slope in the front of the restaurant and creates an outdoor landscape with black pine, bamboo, and black mountain stones to form a small transitional courtyard. Through the mutual display and concealment, brightness and darkness, light and shadow, movement and stillness, the straightforwardness and subtlety of the scene are related and contrasted, thus realizing the transition from the hustle and bustle to the peaceful, seclusion, and quietness of the restaurant's periphery.
The floor and scenic walls are treated with washed stone, a nostalgic texture that brings relaxation and comfort when people come to or pass through the courtyard. The sloping downward eaves form a transitional space with a flat entrance, and the lowered scale increases the affinity of the field. People can stop by and have a short conversation here. Under the eaves, which can be touched easily, a black pine tree stands near the stone, with moss and gravel underneath. Though small and beautiful, the courtyard has a distinctive natural change of seasons, which contrasts with the city life in the nearby bustling traffic.
Entering the lobby, the art glass with paper texture used in the foyer reflects the fireplace installation on the ground, showing the alternation of light and heat. The wood texture of the countertop and bar enhances the temperature and comfort of close contact. The curvature of the floor and ceiling and the material of the bonsai containers reveal shadow and coolness, self-control, and modesty. These two elements fuse the two sides of the same body, yin, and yang, which are characteristic of oriental beauty.——Just like the culinary art of kaisekiryouri charcoal grilling, the ingredients shine through the fire and the gentleness incorporated in the dark ceramic vessels.
The passage space leading to the private room is narrow and cramped. The design expresses a subtle and modest gesture of welcoming guests through the curves of two dimensions while solving the monotony of the passing experience. The curves that stretch with the space and the shapes that join together are like hand-made ingredients put together with both hands, highlighting the artisan spirit of concentration, repetition, and persistence, and the realm of divine thought of food reverence. At the end of the corridor is the art glass partition of the private room. The golden daylight flows through the glass into the dark interior. The hazy and quiet overflow of light seems to have some kind of divine presence, evoking people's feelings and contemplation in the present moment.
Based on the unique oriental understanding of objects, the design integrates the washbasin and the base into a white art installation. The warm and lustrous jade-like surface of the countertop and the hand-carved side texture form a contrast between refinement and ruggedness. Based on different light-facing surfaces, it presents a translucent skin and a deep projection, presenting a meditative beauty. The ceiling reflects the light and shadow of the flashing water waves, accompanied by the sound of water as if listening to Zen, creating a light and dense atmosphere of the place. Washing hands before meals as a necessary ritual before dining adds a sense of anticipation and intention to the dining experience process.
Passing through the corridor to the private room, the curved niche on the wall and the floor-to-ceiling bonsai form two curved sections, one standing and one flat. The silhouette is outlined by the light, brightening the deep and simple presence like lacquerware, serene and elegant. While the daylight keeps changing the angle of projection, the gravel and the bonsai absorb the light into them and fall on the wall to reveal the beauty of the change of intensity, which makes people ponder.——When we create the relationship between things and nature out of nothing by the hand of nature, this beauty comes to life.
Inside the private room, the mystery and height of the double curved dome creates a sense of dining ritual. The curved surface continues to the restrained floor-to-ceiling windows, moderately receding into the relationship between the interior and the outside objects, in order to be more suitable for people to serenely accept their own mind and focus on the experience of food.
Like the restaurant production of rigorous and persistent, humble and pragmatic service attitude, the space presents the pursuit of craftsmanship of artisanship, focus, and quiet, in the scene with the material and art form of Oriental subtlety. With those stone, iron plate cooking contains colorless fragrance, together polishing the original simplicity and beauty of the space temperature, the psychological realm of refreshment.
Designer: Liang Ningjian
Founder ; Design Director of shuimuyan Design Institute
Deputy director of Environmental Art Committee of Hunan design Artists Association
Master's practical tutor, School of fine arts, Hunan Normal University
Vice president of Hunan Architectural Interior Design Society
Director of CIID (Changsha)
2021 American Muse Design Grand Prix platinum gold award (highest award)
2021 American Muse Design Grand Prix gold award
The highest honor award of "best of best" in 2017 Singapore Sida Design Award
Two silver awards of 2017 Singapore Sida Design Award
2017 40 under 40 China design Outstanding Youth Award
2017 20th CIID China interior design cultural space Gold Award
2017 red cotton China interior design supreme Award
The 20th CIID China interior design and catering Gold Award in 2016