When OFFICE AIO took on a second commission from Chubby Girl Noodle Bar in Beijing, the office presents a renewed spatial design with a sleek look.
Carrying forward the inspirations drawn from Tim Franco and Nadav Kander’s photographs of the city, the design sort out the concrete from the abstract.
Where colossal structures emerge from the foggy Yangtze River, the design finds industrial materiality rising through a hovering translucent table. Where city lights and traffic shuttle through mountains and buildings, it pulls off an interplay that melds the modern connectedness of this century and the industrial physicality of the last.
The designer erects several columns that echo the facades of the city’s stacking high-rises. Mosaic tiles ubiquitous to the city rise from the concrete floor and climb up these slender columns in a variety of patterns.
Like the elevated paths thrusting between the slender buildings on the hilly landscape, the columns set the framework for the interior structure. These tiled columns anchor the LED lights with custom-design aluminium joints and gently hug the tables.
The noodle bar creates a sense of levitation, nodding to the modern city’s verticality and speed. Viewing from different perspectives, the tube lights intersect each other and the columns in the air. The hovering table, made of a seamless slab of translucent fibreglass spanning 5.5-meter, is locked into the column delicately as a centrepiece of lightness.
This airiness of industrial smoke is further enhanced by the mirror glazed with gradience. Arranged on the perimeter of the dining area, they obscure foot traffic from the bottom and opened up the space toward the top.
The shopfront of this new destination is lined with an array of soft inflated tarp puffs. The bloated wall gives off a subtle sense of quirkiness that is in resonance with the Chubby Girl identity, whilst providing a cushioning wall as a friendly gesture in response to the long queueing norm that had grown to become synonymous with the brand.
Inside the restaurant, these tarp puffs held together by customised stainless steel scaffolding demarcate the workspaces between the kitchen and customers.
Understanding the client's need in optimising workflow, the team proposed a solution that turns all storage cabinets 90 degrees, creating multiple recessed areas where the staff can work uninterrupted by customer traffic while remaining seen.
As OFFICE AIO enriches the Chubby Girl’s brand, it does so without compromising clarity, expanding on an idea with flexibility, giving a young brand its depth and body as it matures in serving its staff and followers.