Moonhouse Restaurant / Ewert Leaf
Text description provided by the architects. The brief was to focus on the exciting synergies between, the menu, drinks, atmosphere, ambiance, and sound to create a memorable and truly sensorial experience for the diner. The design solution was to reflect Commune Group’s personality and aspirations as experimental restaurateurs.
The iconic Art Deco architecture provided us with the perfect platform to explore creative design solutions. Given the cuisine of the restaurant was to be Chinese, we researched the Art Deco movement of the 1920s in Shanghai as well as modern Chinese architecture which ultimately inspired the sweeping curves that form the kitchen envelope and ceiling features. These curved forms were further extenuated by the use of tiles, a material not commonly reserved for ceilings. We were curious as to how we could layer unique materials to create contrast between texture and color, hard and soft. The hammered glass sits in harmony with textured tiles, whilst vinyl and onyx clad horizontal surfaces. The prevalent use of burnt, golden orange, or ‘duck skin’ as we like to call it was inspired by the color of roast duck.
We wanted to explore various degrees of transparency, revealing the movement and action of the kitchen through colored, textured glass and strategic cutouts whilst also ensuing intimacy for nearby diners. The kitchen pass is a hub of activity and allows for a connection between the chef and the diner. We felt it appropriate to celebrate the pass through the creation of a portal. The curved metalwork is a nod to classic Art Deco architecture and the louvers to both the streets of Hong Kong and Firebird (a Commune Group restaurant). The warm orange tone, borderline sepia was custom created and matched to the other elements in the space including velvet banquettes, vinyl, onyx, and powder coat trims. The kitchen is the focal point of the restaurant and we felt its presence needed to be both seen and experienced.