Beijing-based interior design company MUDA-Architects decided to entertain us with their small-scale and low-cost modern interior design architectural experiment – Garden Hotpot Restaurant in the Sansheng Township of Chengdu in Southwest China, which is crafted without any walls and is designed to embrace the surroundings of Eucalyptus forest and lotus pond as well as distinctive region’s climate.
The design celebrates hotpot, a popular dish that has become synonymous with the region. MUDA took this opportunity to integrate hotpot culture, which is not only a food culture in Chengdu region but also a leisure lifestyle, with natural ecological environment, creating a restaurant that respects the original ecology and is in line with modern consumption and living style.
Garden Hotpot Restaurant is located in the hinterland of Sansheng Township, surrounding a lotus pond, hidden in an Eucalyptus forest. In order to create a comfortable close-to-nature dining environment, MUDA-Architects decided to eliminate the architectural scale, leaving out walls, only using pillars and boards to lightly hide the building in the woods. Therefore, designers wanted the building to merge into the environment, connecting people to nature.
The construction forms along the lake, looks like the steams and smokes from the boiling hotpot curling between the pillars and trees, which forms a suspended environment. Thin columns do not cover the view, thus it is possible to appreciate the views from different sides when walking along the restaurant – the curved wooden railing by lakeside is built for customers to enjoy the views and blur the boundary of the lake.
The natural environment of the site is beautiful but complex. Tens of eucalyptus trees must be preserved, and the terrain is tortuous with a maximum drop of nearly 2 meters. In order to respect the natural environment and minimize human intervention in this natural site, MUDA-Architects conducted a manual mapping and recorded the site in person, and the building was designed according to the location of each individual eucalyptus tree and the lake. Moreover, the free curve of the roof is designed according to the site characteristics and function.
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What makes this project even more impressive is its small scale and low cost. The construction team, local migrant workers, had no knowledge and no appropriate tools. In order to ensure quality, architects simplified complex structural nodes and made strategic adjustments in a way that the workers could understand. The whole building applied steel structure welding technology, which greatly shortens the construction period and reduces the cost.
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