“Brunch With” is an inspiring story about a young entrepreneurial client who wanted to make a splash with her third restaurant,this time in Suzhou. Stating to the design team; “Just as the menu is a full of flavor, the design must provide a multi-layered
feast for the senses.”
The multiplicity of colors is paired with intended functions, such as crafting cocktails & coffee at the bar, gazing out through the lounge, laughing with friends in baking class, hosting a party in the private room, or sharing a dish with a loved one in the formal dining room. Guests can explore one or all experiences during a single visit, losing her sense of time while sharing these joyful moments with friends and family.
The spaces of the restaurant are shaped to reveal surprising moments at specific points along the central spine of the restaurant flanked by the bakery and kitchen. Each moment engages the patrons and encourages further exploration as they move through the restaurant’s 472 m2 space.
Forms of colored glass, terrazzo, and stainless steel acts as a filter between dream and reality, shifting the view from the streets of Suzhou into a colorful, elevated, floating lounge room, perfect for picture moments and people watching. Stainlesssteel Colors and details give homage to the diners of 1950’s creating a beautiful juxtaposition, which we call“futuristnostalgia”.
1) Drawing on Experiences:
Our client's love for food, travel and fashion inspired many references she wished to see coming to life in her restaurant. The design team translated each memory or photo into an idea or space. Two key themes came out of the clients photo references of progressive fashion and vintage 1950s spaces. The design team was excited about the idea of afuturistic and fashion-inspired restaurant with a hint of vintage diner appeal.
2) Extensive Customer Journey and Program
Our Client's objective is to connect with her patrons through a colorful and creative customer experience combining food, drink, and spatial design that allows guests to have a unique experience during every visit. This 472 meter-squared space supports: coffee/cocktail bar, lounge for bunch during the day and cocktails at night, baking classroom, full bakery, full kitchen, two private function rooms, and formal dining room; all spaces are laid out so that patrons could interact with different elements as they moved through the restaurant.
3) Push the Boundaries
The largest project challenge was finding an experienced construction team in Suzhou, China. The design team and client interviewed 12 construction companies to select one. The design team followed the construction closely with numerous supplementary detail drawings, on-site sketches, material tests, and color samples for the terrazzo tile used in the project. To achieve the desired result, client and design team worked closely, traveling and sourcing most of the materials together since it was beyond the capability of the construction team.
Q&A with Kyle MertensMeyer:
1. Before the project start, what requirements did your client have, and what did you do to adjust the requirements in the whole design?
Our client (Yuki 缪柯怡) is a young entrepreneur who is inspired by her passion for world travel,vintage fashion, and delicious food. Her requirements to us at the beginning were to bring these three elements into the complete dining experience, make the restaurant accessible yet truly special, and efficiently maximizes her business operations. Instead of focusing on one particulartravel experience, the design team translated a number of our client’s memories from her travels orphoto references into a fashion era. Taking guests through a colorful and creative customer experience combining food, drink, and spatial design, the design allows each individual to have adistinctively different experience every time.
To maximize the efficiency of the 472 meter-squared space, we overlaid functions to support arobust program of: coffee/cocktail bar, a lounge for bunch during the day and cocktails at night, abaking classroom which can convert in to a private dining room, full bakery, full kitchen, two private function rooms, and a formal dining room; all spaces are laid out so that patrons could interact with different elements as they moved through the restaurant.
In addition to design, we worked closely with the client to push the boundaries, interviewing 12 construction companies and following the construction closely. The design team supplied numerous supplementary detail drawings, on-site sketches, and material tests; even traveling to source much of the materials by hand to achieve the desired results.
2. Which design detail make you satisfied most throughout the project?
My favorite detail in the design process was creating a guest journey of "perspective play". The interplay of the lights and the colored surface creates a specific impression, as the guest moves through the space; the same objects may be immersed in another light and color scheme that evokes a completely different emotion. Seeing the meticulous planning and study come to life is the part I love the most in our design process.
3. Does the atmosphere of the space have to match the dishes, if yes, how did you make it?
At Brunch With each plate setting is selected to uniquely match the food dish being served, not the space. I think the surprise of a new plate setting with each dish adds to the fun and spontaneity of the space itself.
4.Many people who come to the restaurant will say that, the light of the space is suitable for photoshooting without shadows, is there something special in the lighting design?
We like to approach lighting as if you are looking at a beautiful painting covered in black charcoal,our job is to erase the darkness from the canvas in the specific areas we want to shine light oraccent a surface. Technically speaking the Brunch With uses a combination of uplighting,downlighting, wall washers, artistic lighting, natural day light, and even the candles on the table. Nomatter how small, each part adds to the effect of the whole.
5. The use of pink color seems to popular in a lot of café and restaurants during there several years. What is unique about this space when compared to other restaurants?
It’s important to note that this is not a pink restaurant, it’s a project that layers many colors together; pink is only one of the many. Brunch With uses colors of maroon, red, orange, purple,teal, pink, tan, bronze, chrome, dark gray, black, and white. In the front lounge we have overlaid three colors in the view; at the back wall is a light tan textured stucco, in the middle is a pink velvet wall, and in the very front is a stunning red glass wall. The colors need to be layered from dark to light, creating a sense of depth and bending the colors when they are overlaid in the view. From outside the glass looking in the pink isn’t pink, but it’s a pleasant surprise when your turn thecorner and look past the red glass. In this way as you experience the space the colors are changing and blending.
6. Can you please explain the meaning of the concept 'futuristic nostalgia' , and how is it reflected in your design?
Ever since I was a child, I was fascinated by space- star-ships, space travel, and our unbound imagination. I love the idea of picturing what our future could look like. I believe that as we progress into the future, we will also naturally take remnants of our past with us. As we stay in wonder of our limitless possibility while reminiscing of our past, we create this feeling of "futurist nostalgia”.