Excerpt: FUNK & KALE, designed by DAS Lab, is a restaurant that lets the design reconcile healthy and innovative lifestyles to some extent. Based on the brand’s concept, the new restaurant is expected to break the generally “harmonious” dining environment through functional installations. The designers organized the spatial structures in a way of curating an exhibition-like experience and worked to create an “emotional” space with rigorous geometric order.
[Text as submitted by architect] In today’s prevailing catering trends, healthy meals are gaining popularity among the urban population. In spatial design, all aspects from concept to details need to be carefully considered. As approaching this project, while meeting the daily needs of customers, DAS Lab also thought about how to let the design reconcile healthy and innovative lifestyles to some extent.
As a new brand of Wagas, FUNK & KALE mainly provides exquisite Western-style healthy meals. It opened a new premise in The MixC Shopping Mall in Nanshan District, Shenzhen. Based on the brand’s concept, the new restaurant is expected to break the generally “harmonious” dining environment through functional installations. The designers organized the spatial structures in a way of curating an exhibition-like experience and worked to create an “emotional” space with rigorous geometric order.
01. Environment and experiences formed by installations
A new spatial relationship is inserted into the existing spatial framework. Based on the structures of various articles, it produces a retro atmosphere in the space wrapped by installations, which bring multi-level spatial experiences. Through the contrast of cold and warm textures of metal and timber, as well as the symmetrical or irregular combination of spatial structures, various elements logically create a sense of order and endow the space with a distinctive identity and character. A unique spatial order is formed through the cutting and recombination of multiple surfaces. The mix of wood and metal, along with the overlapping and interpenetration of geometric shapes and arcs, blurs the boundary of space and meanwhile creates an immersive sensory experience that fuses the virtual and the real. The large area of eye-catching orange walls features rough textures, realizing the harmonious expression of the old and new and producing a lively, exquisite ambience. The restaurant, therefore, stands out from the complicated, diversified setting of the shopping mall, and becomes a unique visual highlight.
02. Connection, circulation and transition
The overall space is open and the functional areas are divided progressively. From the open outdoor space to the semi-open kitchen area, the orderly spatial layers form a rhythmic circulation through the connection and combination of different structures. The storefront composition and the lighting fixtures are formed by a series of structural installations by mimicking a process of supporting, hoisting and opening the sail of a boat. Wrapped in metal materials, those elements complement the undulating internal space and create fresh textures and memory for the place. The flexible and diverse seating arrangements create a pleasant, comfortable dining environment. This not only caters to multiple functional demands but also builds an emotional bond between people, people and the space.
03. Nightfall and freedom
Based on the site’s geographic conditions, the sensitive light gradually changes and creates varied experiences at two different time periods. In the daytime, sunshine penetrates the gaps of the surrounding buildings and produces fluid light and shadows. The freely moving sunlight brings people an exquisite, romantic and retro atmosphere for enjoying dining and leisure time, allowing them to feel freedom under sunlight. As night falls, the static lighting fixtures wrapped in the three-dimensional space helps adjust the spatial ambience, forming a soft, serene, and warm dining environment at night. As Leonardo Da Vinci holds that simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, DAS Lab conceived the restaurant with touching sensory experiences to explore more diversified expressions for the catering space, intending to offer people a pure and tacit dining experience whilst enabling them to feel art through the meals.