“Perhaps we can feel a real daily life atmosphere through digital technology.” — Li Wenqiang
Founded in Hangzhou, WASABIYA is known for attracting diners by creating exquisite Japanese cuisine and innovative scenes. Its sub-brand KYUUSANN, which serves Japanese barbecue and wine, opens a new premise in Chengdu, a creative city of gastronomy recognized by UNESCO, expecting to realize local exploration and innovation though insights into the catering market. Led by Li Wenqiang, PIG DESIGN decodes and retranslates the cultural context of this vibrant city, by conceiving a digital contemporary socializing space for the catering brand. The design creatively breaks the conventional image of Japanese restaurants, and introduces a worldly atmosphere as well as a sense of future and technology into modern daily life.
Shift Between Virtuality and Reality
The project is situated on the B1 of IFS (International Finance Center), a fashionable commercial landmark on Chunxi Road, Chengdu. It hides behind the escalator that links the metro station with the open-air plaza. An organic curved stainless steel structure with a length of 25 meters and LED electronic screens are added to glass facades of the entrance door. Both form a pair of huge “sunglasses” on the threshold of digital and physical, capturing the flowing material civilization of the city.
▼从商场看餐厅，exterior view ©戚朔迁
Being adjacent to the exit of metro station, the dining venue is given a contradictory public attribute. The curved structure is not only a three-dimensional sculpture with many a concavity and convexity, but also an internal support combined with the existing building. In response to the local special geographic factors, the curved design also meets fireproof and anti-seismic requirements of the public building.
▼曲线轮廓，the curved structure ©戚朔迁
Daily Life Atmosphere Rendered by Digital Technology
It is the discovery of fire use that separates human from animals and ushers in the course of human evolution. Complemented by metal and granite, LED becomes the protagonist of the space. Particles move according to the command of AI parameters, hence creating a world awash with digital smoke. While producing a sense of drama, these staggered fine matters also echo the face-changing of Sichuan opera, expressing respect for this kind of ancient Chinese romantic art which turns abstract emotions and feelings into specific visible symbols.
▼入口一侧的用餐区，dining area by the entrance ©戚朔迁
▼从内部用餐区看向入口，dining area by the entrance ©戚朔迁
Under the control of algorithm-based program, pixel-like particles are capable of dividing objects’ images into fragments and reorganizing them on the screen. Furthermore, based on the logic and scale of varying lighting, they generate a flowing volume with its own logic. Like murals of caves in ancient times, this volume, clearly, is not an experiment solely by human. PIG DESIGN adopts innovative techniques that combine artificial and human intelligence to depict a futuristic artistic picture.
▼入口用餐区近景，dining area by the entrance ©戚朔迁
▼卡座细部，details of the booth ©戚朔迁
For the sake of cost reduction and environmental protection, the designers chose small pieces of square LED screens and combined them to produce a curved volume, instead of a piece of large one. Though there are some subtle gaps, the multimedia artist smoke-patterned digital screen visually eliminates these defects, thus achieving a perfect balance among cost, function and aesthetics.
▼中央用餐区，central dining area ©戚朔迁
Crack of Time
Just as space has its geometry, time has its psychology, and geography has its history. Centered on the circular bar counter in the middle, left and right circulation routes are arranged in a symmetric yet differentiated manner. Getting off the beaten track, such arrangement enables the space to accommodate dining area, afternoon tea area and wine bar and to offer multiple catering services. Grilled processing allows traditional raw and cold Japanese cuisine to be transformed into cooked one featuring the smell of fire, which helpfully evokes diners’ enthusiasm and removes their concerns about food hygiene in the post-pandemic era.
▼看向吧台区，view of the bar ©戚朔迁
▼吧台区近景，view of the bar ©戚朔迁
▼沿环形的中央吧台分散出左右双动线，left and right circulation routes around the bar ©戚朔迁
▼蛋壳形态的座椅，eggshell-shaped seats ©戚朔迁
Metal structure, characterized by a strong industrial style, runs through the interior. Matte reflection, together with digital scenes on the curved surfaces and a subtle interplay of light and shadow, bring artistic commercial spatial experiences. Eggshell-shaped seats endow the fantastic space with a distinctive visual effect, whilst also making diners feel like being wrapped in a comfortable way.
▼从吧台区看独立卡座区，view of the booth area ©戚朔迁
▼独立卡座区，the booth area ©戚朔迁
The triangular steel frame structure takes cues from flying wings. Cracked wall-like installations symbolize the vitality of life. Hand-stitching blue fabrics, which enfold seats and background wall, infuse the cyberpunk socializing context with a sense of reality. The dialogue between the present and the past provides a unique emotional experience, as well as an immersive spatial ambience.
▼三角形卡座区，triangular booth area ©戚朔迁
▼三角形的钢架结构模拟飞翔的羽翼，the triangular steel frame structure ©戚朔迁
▼看向卫生间，view of the toilet ©戚朔迁
▼家具设计，furniture diagram ©皮爱纪设计PIG DESIGN
▼平面图，plan ©皮爱纪设计PIG DESIGN
Project name: KYUUSANN, Chengdu
Location: Chengdu IFS, China
Area: 360 square meters
Design firm: PIG DESIGN
Chief designer: Li Wenqiang
Design team: Liu Chao, He Di
Construction firm: Hangzhou Zhima Decoration Design Engineering Co., Ltd.
Lighting design: Yaank
Furniture design: PIG DESIGN
Photography: Qi Shuoqian
Visual design: Qian Chaofan