Studio Link-Arc, in collaboration with Kane A|UD Architecture, is designing Banu Hotpot, a 2,100 m2 restaurant in Zhengzhou, China. As the flagship bistro of an innovative and growing franchise, it was important to the client that the project create a recognizable landmark along the main thoroughfare and be welcoming to the community.
Studio Link-Arc and Kane A|UD Architecture design an open and flexible interior landscape with a variety of spaces in Zhengzhou, China. The architects break the existing building’s large-scale, orthogonal structural grid, reframing the space into a fluid organization, with a series of sculptural cones shaped for private dining and open kitchens. They insert two vertical conical voids in the lobby and main seating area to connect two levels of dining, and design an organic grid ceiling, which varies in height depending on the program. The ceiling geometry is executed with folded perforated metal panels, forming a complex but streamlined pattern. A crucial element of the design, the panelized roof and wall system creating a continuous corrugated enclosure gives the space a unique identity. The ceiling transforms its appearance and transparency through its density, height, and size to give depth to the roof plane. For the exterior facade, the character of the interior roof is extended by a sunscreen, which protects the south side and gives a changing transparency and visual texture to the building. Its panel, composed of four types, is clipped onto a support and supported by the glass curtain wall. The result, a unified design. Located along one of the city’s major thoroughfares, Banu Hotpot is itself the sign that attracts customers. The name Banu is derived from the stories of the river men who historically helped boats navigate the dangerous streams of China. They would eat hot food to regain their strength. The design honors this history by imagining a space formed by natural, yet turbulent flow and marked by the sinuous lines of rope lattices.