Design Systems Ltd.
Hong Kong | View Map
Project Year

Design Systems Ltd; Matteo Carcelli


Design Systems Ltd. as Designers

Mom's cooking undeniably taste the most unique to us. Even for the same dish, with the same ingredients, each family has their own recipes and cooking methods. With her special techniques, mom can make dishes that are unforgettable, touching, and representative of her home style. Doing design nowadays is similar to doing shopping in a mega-size supermarket, with materials from all over the world, and designers have to choose from the same pool of materials. So, in order to create a distinctive character for this restaurant, we have to apply special techniques like mom. Our ingredients are plastic, steel and wood. And we cook with light and shadow.

Plastic, though not often used as building material, is one of the most common materials we see and touch everyday. In this restaurant, the wall and ceiling panels are made of flame-retardant recyclable plastic. We have chosen a more environmentally-friendly regrind type, which however has more impurities and lower transparency. For this, we make it semi-transparent by frosting. The plastic panels give different feels when front-lit and back-lit. Since the restaurant is on street level, there are certain hours during the day when sunlight shines into the interior. With natural light in daytime and illumination in the evening, two different atmospheres can be created to suit the menus for lunch and dinner. Injection moulded plastic is more suitable than glass in this case, for it can lead to similar effect, but with reduced weight (of the modules and the supporting structure), lower costs and easier construction.

The unusual combination of steel and plastic is done with light and shadow. The steel trees are installed up on the solid teak wood service counter cabinets as if floating. Their irregular structure adds rhythm to the neat geometry of the interior. During daytime, the restaurant looks airy like a minimal translucent box. You can even see the shades of the structures and E&M facilities behind the plastic panels. In the night, the criss-cross shadows bring theatrical effect to the space. It becomes the motif of the interior, with the plastic wall and ceiling acting as a neutral background. With different lighting, we create two different "flavours" for the same material combination.

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Project Credits
The Mwabwindo School
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The Mwabwindo School

Primary Schools and Secondary Schools
Mwabwindo, Zambia - Build completed in 2019
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