Wenzhou Ou-river Crystal Boxes

Wenzhou Ou-river Crystal Boxes

AntiStatics Architecture
Wenzhou, Zhejiang, China | View Map
Project Year
Dachou Photogrphy

Wenzhou Ou-river Cystal Boxes

AntiStatics Architecture as Architects

Built on piers above the Ou- River in the city of Wenzhou, this fine dining restaurant occupies the threshold between the city and the tidal estuary which flows through the city. This is one of the feature buildings along the 1.8km Wenzhou Ou-River waterfront new development master plan, including landscape, six brand new buildings and three new harbors designed by AntiStatics Architecture in the past two years.


Drawing upon the nature of the stream as a conduit from inland to the sea the architecture is assembled as a series of floating roof plates above a dynamic concrete screen the buildings reference the massive barges as a persistent element of the river. Drawing upon the hilly topography across the river the building is split into two structures precisely mirroring a deep cut in the adjacent mountains while utilizing that gap as an entry point to the restaurant which directly frames the matching cut.  Taking advantage of the comfortable year-round climate of Wenzhou, the restaurant occupies both buildings.


The flat plates of the staggered roof system shift and move to create further outdoor private spaces linked to private dining rooms. These outdoor spaces invite visitors to step out to enjoy the panoramic views of the river and mountainous landscape beyond. Inspired by the way one might see through a tree canopy differently from within the tree versus looking in from the outside; the custom cast screen creates privacy for the interior occupants while not inhibiting views outwards from the inside.


While the exterior façade plays between the sharp angles of the floating plates and the organic grid of the cast screen, the interior spaces present warm and welcoming materials, relaxing and comfortable furnishing and a complete 5-star dining experience. The entry features a calm and welcoming lobby adjacent to a series of live wells for the patron’s selection of only the freshest produce. Creating the complete dining experience, the buildings present a synthesis of design, culinary art and local culture.


The exterior screen is fabricated from ultra-high performance concrete. With precise geometric control and definition, the porous block elements are cast from a simple two-part mold. The three-dimensional depth of the block creates a macro-scale moiré effect for the façade, as one traverses the screen the depth and layers of the cast UHPC forms reveal variant emergent patterns, mimicking the dynamic nature of the eddies and turbulence of the adjacent tidal stream.


At night the lighting of the screen turns the buildings into dramatic beacons. Glowing and visible from land and river, the effects where inspired by the traditional lanterns fishermen would hang from their boats to attract fish through the muddy waters at height. The smooth interwoven nature of the concrete screen features a further dynamic lighting scheme, as the light wraps the surfaces from different angles a vibrant collage of color creates a beacon for passersby on the busy street, and from those travelling the river.


Wenzhou is a city steeped in rich culinary traditions, not only the flavors and textures but the full dining experience. The architecture for the Deep Sea Black Pearl restaurant acts as a stage set for this experience, featuring private dining rooms and panoramic views of the river the organization of the space creates a curated dining experience.


Comprised entirely of private dining rooms, the interior spaces create various conditions for the culinary experience, the early meal casual space for cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, a large group table for formal dining and lastly the outdoor terrace to relax and digest while taking in the stunning views of the river and mountains beyond.

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Project Credits
Product Spec Sheet

ManufacturersDuctal Concrete - LafargeHolcim group
Product Spec Sheet
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