‘the chiu, hangzhou’ embeds regional subcultures through innovative spatial languages

‘the chiu, hagzhou’ restaurant, offering chaoshan cuisine, opens a new branch in china’s qianjiang new town CBD district. designed as a private banquet restaurant by nature times art design, the project reflects the gradual integration of regional subcultures. colliding old and new, tradition and modernity, local and foreign accents, the architects have effectively reinterpreted the deep meaning of cultural symbols found in the jiangnan region by adopting novel spatial languages and breaking conventional thinking. 


the restaurant mainly includes an entrance, reception and tea area, a dining hall, and seven private rooms defined by different themes and tones, with a circulation route looping around the whole space. once inside, a garden-themed and green-jade elevator hall welcomes guests into a surreal and immersive world with flowing lights, shadows, and digital butterflies fluttering in and out of view. as visitors pass through this segment, a flood of deep emotions primes them to enjoy the rest of the dining experience. 

the chiu hangzhou by nature times art design co ltd 2
all images © wu jianquan

‘among the seven private rooms, some are gentle and reserved, while others are intense and glowing. this all-encompassing sensationalism combines rational value and romantic feeling,’ says the team at nature times art design. connecting several of these sensory rooms is a corridor guiding guests through soft lighting and micro landscape installations that subtly evoke aesthetic ambiances and a sense of detachment. 


to reflect the beauty of jiangnan, the design fully utilizes line, color, shape, and texture. it also combines landscape elements and objects representing distinctive cultural symbols like snow, water, bridge, railing, and expresses them through contemporary art. moreover, based on the structure and daylighting conditions of each private room, the restaurant features dynamic and varied theatrical ‘scenes’ to enrich the spiritual and sensory dining experience. 

the chiu hangzhou by nature times art design co ltd 5
overview of the public dining hall

seven private rooms evoking snow, water, orientalism, bridges, and much more

the first private room is a tea tasting area set at one end of the elevator passage, where rough raw stones are brought into the simple, clean space outlined by straight lines, silently dialoguing with the distant mountain scenery. the other end of the passage leads to a public dining area, in which undulating irregular silver foil walls echo the surging tides of the qiantang river. further down the hall, a waterscape fuses with the river scenery outside, accompanied by cascade sounds stimulating great visual and auditory tension.

the next room translates jiangnan’s snowy winters into white interior surfaces adorned with a striking floral art installation. setting the tone of this space is a transition characterized by withered lotus, light shadows, and a decorative pool. overall, simple design languages and cultural symbols establish an elegant and quaint art scene for this private room.

the chiu hangzhou by nature times art design co ltd 6
undulating silver foil echoes the surging tides of the qiantang river

contrasting those snowy white hues, the fourth room injects a dramatic oriental sentiment to ‘the chiu, hangzhou’ thanks to a deep red tone coating its interior. based on chinese aesthetics, the space evokes simplified design expressions and flowing light and shadows to ignite deep emotions. hollow-out jade screens on the periphery draw on the form of traditional chinese railings, creating a sense of depth, while hanging lanterns at the corner together with modern curved furniture embody a still aesthetic.

the fifth area switches from turbulent red to peaceful cyan, representing the infinite vitality of all things growing in the universe. specifically, different cyan shades and brightnesses gently integrate with spatial blocks and furniture to produce gradual changes and connect with the city’s blue sky. additionally, a wall installation featuring abstract folds and textures elevates the room with its delicate details, while mirrors create playful visual experiences.

uniquely themed dining rooms shape this upscale restaurant in hangzhou, china
snow-themed private room

a sixth space invites guests into a yellow haven, the noblest hue found in traditional yin and yang, and also a classic color favored by top luxury fashion brands. with consideration of visual language, orientation, light and shadow variation, and angles, the design creates vivid visual effects that change with time. indeed, the space becomes especially captivating when flooded with sunset glow. meanwhile, bright colors and geometric modular structures reveal a minimalist aesthetic, with gold lacquered wood carvings handmade by chaoshan artisans to inject cultural value.

the seventh and final private room extends the yellow ambiance brought in by a west-facing window. the interior here extracts the tone of tea soup and adjusts it to desaturated pink hues that integrate into an eclectic and poetic environment. composed of simple and neat surfaces and blocks, the space features an embedded background wall cut in a staggered fashion, shaping an immersive world with a deep structure.

the chiu hangzhou by nature times art design co ltd 11
cyan-infused private room

uniquely themed dining rooms shape this upscale restaurant in hangzhou, china
vivd yellow room evoking chinese fashion

uniquely themed dining rooms shape this upscale restaurant in hangzhou, china
the afterglow private space infused with soft pinks

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the immersive green jade entrance hall

the immersive green jade entrance hall

waterscape and fireplace at the main corridor

waterscape and fireplace at the main corridor

public dining hall corridor at evening time

public dining hall corridor at evening time

vivid red oriental room

vivid red oriental room

cyan-infused dining room

cyan-infused dining room

snow-themed private area

snow-themed private area

project info:

name: the chiu, hangzhou

location: hangzhou city, zhejiang province, china

completion time: december 2021

total area: 750 sqm 

architecture: nature times art design co., ltd.

creative director: wei jinjing

interior finishes design: wei yaocheng

interior decoration design: zhang huichao, lin yushi

construction team: YCWORK / lao zhaoqin, lin junru

lighting consultant: ENLIGHTEN / ding jie

VI design: zhou bin

photographywu jianquan

video: xiang shucheng (DD)

designboom has received this project from our DIY submissions feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

edited by: lea zeitoun | designboom