YU Restaurant | YiXing

A Yixing Miniature: Boccaro, Bamboo and Landscape

Location: YiXing

Type: Architecture Renovation, Spatial Design, Installation Design

Scope: All Design phases & Construction Advisory

Time: 2023 Built

Building Area: 1431 sqm.

Building Height: 11.4m

Team: Zheng Tao、Fernie Lai、 Alan Hung、 Zhang ZeQun、 Li XuDong、Tian YiQing、ZhangBo

Collaborator: Furniture Design:未/WAY Studio &Yun Zhao Studio

Collaborator: Lighting Design:Jing Lighting

Collaborator: Contractor:Yaming Yiju

Collaborator: Graphic Design: KWUOGraphics

Photographer: Tian FangFang

WAY Studio has collaborated with YiXing YU in creating a lakeside restaurant on the DongJiu lakeshore. Yixing is famous for its bamboo forests, Boccaro teapots, waterways and pavilions. WAY Studio drew from these as inspiration and reinterpreted them in envisioning a poetic culinary experience; to dine and wine in such an atmosphere would be bliss.
The journey begins in the underground parking lot, the entrance located below an overhanging ceiling installation, reminiscent of entering a cavernous space under overhanging mountain rocks that compresses the space before opening up into a garden-like dining area. Half-open seating areas are hidden among the plantlife, giving diners a sense of privacy as well as the likeness of dining in the wilderness.
Through a hidden door behind a corner, you emerge into a large cavern lit up by a skylight. We situated a dining area, a tea nook, and a stage space inspired by traditional Suzhou garden design within this inner cave. Layered curtains hang in undulating rings around the skylight, like heavy mist, filtering the natural light into the space. This can all be used for private dining, events, and even small performances. For the latter, the open dining area outside may be transformed into an anteroom into the main venue.
Meandering upwards to the upper dining level, it is as if one is traversing through a Shan Shui landscape painting up the mountain. Tables are separated on terracing platforms, where bamboo forms natural screens shielding diners from view. The dance of the shadow of fluttering bamboo leaves across the stone surfaces is like a breath of cool fresh air in this haven.
Cream-based terrazzo with tints of brown specks creates the sculptural undertone for the entire space, inspired by the clays that form the famous Boccaro earthenware (器皿) of Yixing.
A corridor at the far end of the room curves at the very end, obscuring the view yet piquing our curiosity as to what lies beyond. Two private rooms and an exclusive balcony lies on the far end, with an unobstructed view of the JinJiu lake and lakeshore beyond. All three private dining areas extend seamlessly outwards under cloudscape overhangs visible from across the lake, establishing its own landmark on the lakeshore. The layered ceiling panels remind one of the layered clouds of the sky, once again immersing diners among the brushstrokes of a Shan Shui landscape.
© 未/WAY Studio 2023