King’s Joy Restaurant / Atelier FCJZ
Design Conditions. Site: A recently built courtyard house (Si He Yuan) at the entrance to Wudaoying Hutong, opposite of the Lama Temple. The program: A vegetarian restaurant
Space. This was an interior design project. Based on our respect for the basic structure of the courtyard house, we reorganized the interior spaces. The entrance of the restaurant was altered and moved from the southern rooms to the passageway on the west, in order to allow users to pass through a series of labyrinthine transitional spaces before arriving at the central courtyard.
In order to achieve the required floor area, one of the original courtyards had to be covered. Yet we still hoped to preserve the feeling of two courtyards. Thus we made the covered courtyard as transparent and bright as possible. An eight-panel folding hanging screen was employed to create a scale that is both open and intimate. This design results in a contrast between an indoor courtyard space and an outdoor courtyard space. Other spaces were developed surrounding the courtyards.
Materials. Our strategy was to use traditional materials in a modern way. We mainly used wood, brick, and tile is taken from traditional courtyard construction and then applied unconventional uses and construction methods to these materials. Wood blocks were laid as bricks; brick corbels were normally employed for the cantilevered wall but in this case, they have been used to construct the bar. The roof tiles were repurposed to make folding screens, wine racks, etc. The objective was to achieve the coexistence of modern and traditional.
Landscape. We hold a critical attitude towards traditional gardens, believing such designs tend to be too mired in minor details. Our landscape design for this project took traditional courtyard elements and simplified them into several colour tones and textures. For example, we use a crimson wooden frame, grey tile floor, and interspersed grey and white pebbles, hoping to remove the trivial elements of the ancient landscape while showcasing its essence.