From the architects: BAO is a modern Chinese restaurant that embodies the atmosphere and energy of three megalopolises – Singapore, Hong Kong and New York. We used Asia and US Chinese restaurants as a guide for the new place. Thus, the idea of cosmopolitanism and cultural migration between the East and the West was represented. As far as our client designed this restaurant for Kyiv citizens, Chinese cuisine has been adapted to the food excesses of the Europeans.
In BAO, we find ancient traditions closely intertwined with innovations. When the customer comes in, he feels Asian atmosphere, where everything is linked, integral and as consistent with Feng Shui. Using distinctive details, such as ceramics, red spotlights, water and open fire, we showed China from its traditional side.
Before going to table, the guests pass through specific carved portal leading to the restroom zone. Crossing the threshold of the portal, they purge themselves of a negative energy. In addition, while entering they hear mysterious whisper in Chinese. Pronounce words mean happiness, wealth and prosperity. Such an approach is now possible thanks to the directional sound system.
After such purification ceremony, the guests come back to the main dining area that has the longest community table in the Eastern Europe on center. About 50 guests can easily sit down to this table. Ukrainian people are used to sit at a separate table for little groups. By comparison, people abroad meet each other, communicate and discuss a restaurant food while sitting notably at community tables. The table mentioned above consists of seven tabletops interconnected by six brass mascots, which come laden with symbols of Eastern philosophy. The tabletops are made with special Chinese rain tree, and their total weight is nothing less than 2.5 ton!
On the ceiling above the table, one can see the main decorative element of the space 0 the scale of the Dragon diving into water. The installation consists of the thousand ceramic scales, each of which symbolizes Koi fish. As Chinese legend has it, any fish that gains the Dragon Gateway up the river turns into dragon. Waterfall at the end of the room embodies such a gateway.
Next to the main area there is a little one with fireplace and cozy tables for those who want to retire. The room on the second floor is decorated with the bright installation named Chinese warrior armour. It overlooks the main room as well as an open kitchen. An additional attention grabber of this room is the brass table crossing the line of the glass barrier and balancing over the main dining area. In such a manner the idea of the Yin and Yang balance is represented.
Surely, one of the main points of interest is a kitchen. It is fully open, placed straight on centerand surrounded by glass windows only. Thanks to this approach, guests can oversee the kitchen teamwork, notwithstanding where they sit.
There is a bar zone to the right of reception station. This place is made spacious and not overloaded because of the huge overflow of guests. Elongate space is highlighted by a long bar counter. While using the ceiling height we were inspired with bamboo forest and China scaffolding. In the result the installation of metal sticks has appeared on the ceiling. Hanging in a non-systematic fashion, the sticks form geometrical pattern. The ceiling chaos is restrained by the symmetrical wall composition made from radial lines on the distant wall of the bar. This composition embodies the dougong roof construction as well as Yin and Yang balance.
Not accounting for technical light, all the lighting and many pieces of furniture were developed individually and manufactured in Ukraine. They were done in minimalist style, thus placing greater focus on the complicated morphology of installations.
Location: Kyiv, Ukraine
Area: 600 sqm
Architects: YOD Design Studio
Photographs: Andrey Avdeenko