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Karv One Design led by Kyle Chan has designed Afterain, a nature-themed multimedia restaurant in Hangzhou, China, that imitates a forest after a heavy shower. The design team conveys that the space is based as ‘an aspiration for a beautiful life immersed in nature’ - “After a rain, in the forest, all lives are awoken. Take some time and enjoy the moment. Treat your taste buds to rich flavours. This might be the most beautiful thing".
Imitating ‘nature’s breath’, Afterain is dominated by elements of nature in its minimal interior design. Diners are surrounded in intense scenes of green, punctuated by elements of transparent glass and warm timber, as if “meditating within a deep forest; lush forests, valleys and running water, mottled shadows of trees in the sun, blooming flowers... The design cleverly intercepts beautiful fragments of nature and introduces them into the interior,” shares the design studio which has offices in Hong Kong, Singapore, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Nanjing, Chengdu and Wuhan.
The client, Vanke, is one of China’s best real estate developers, who entrusted the task of creating a lifestyle themed restaurant to Karv One Design, hoping to create a space that blended commerciality with nature, urban lifestyles and warm human connections.
Emerging as an urban ecosystem, the picture-worthy diner is realised across 725 sqm, with commercial displays of the brand interspersed within its artistic setting. As an appropriate preamble, a flowery entrance path, transparent and minimal, welcomes visitors inside. Nature-themed artworks rest on the wall, freshening up the surfaces. “The main installation—SEDA, Echo of Forest—at the entrance symbolises the soul’s return to nature. The transparent glass enclosures and the large-scale indoor gardening echo with the changeable artistic digital images, fostering a calm, intimate atmosphere,” says Chan.
The patio brings in daylight into the restaurant design, while the enclosed bar creates a visual focal point and a place for people to gather and relax. Afterain also incorporates the four seasons in its menu design, further highlighting the theme of the restaurant. Called the Phantom Garden, the main dining area is fitted with a massive LED display screen that displays scenes from nature on a loop, augmented with changing colours and lighting.
“A rich blend of taste, smell, sight, sound and touch is used to create an interactive and emotional experience that conveys the project's unique approach to dining,” Chan continues. These immersive scenes allow diners to experience the brand's philosophy while other aspects of the restaurant play themed art films.
Elaborating on the material and colour palette of Afterain, Karv One Design relays that the congruence of clear glass, vibrant green plants and the wooden floor and ceilings were deliberate, to relay a design that looks sophisticated as well as tropical, a space where natural life thrives in an urban setting. Daylight filters into the area during the day through the glass expanses, and as night falls, the lighting comes on gradually to up the sophisticated tone of the restaurant.
“Everything that meets the eyes—an object, a scenery, a meal—is an embodiment of one's attitude towards life. Immersed in the dining environment created with artistic techniques, people can experience the philosophy of life advocated by the brand. Here, food connects people with each other, with nature and with life - a unique and must-have experience,” says Karv One Design.
Location: Hangzhou, China
Area: 725 sqm
Year of completion: 2020
Designer: Karv One Design
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