The Banu restaurant design includes the interiors and façade replacement for a 2100m2 building in Zhengzhou China. The program brief included dining for 300 guests, five private dining rooms, a reception and waiting area, and two open prep kitchens. As the Flagship restaurant for a growing and innovative franchise, it was important for the client that the project also creates a recognizable landmark along the main axis road and be welcoming to the community. The Banu name is derived from the stories of the rivermen who historically assisted boats to navigate treacherous rivers of China and who were known to eat hotpot foods to restore their strength. Our design sought to honor this history but creating a space formed from a natural yet turbulent flow and marked by the sinuous lines of the rope pull lattices. Our design process was organized around a series of strategies to break down the large scale, and the orthogonal structural grid of the existing building and reframe the space into a more fluid organization system. The first strategy was to introduce a series of sculptural cone-shaped private dining rooms and open kitchens that both enclosed the program while differentiating the dining spaces around them. The second strategy was to introduce two vertical conical voids at the lobby and main seating area to remove the existing floor plate and vertically tie the two dining levels together. The third strategy involved the design of an organic lattice ceiling that varied in height based on the program. The geometry of the ceiling was created from perforated metal panels bent to form an intricate yet rationalized pattern. The ceiling was composed of 9 standard modules repeated with over 700 panels. Through varying of the density, height, and size the ceiling panels we were able to transform the transparency, creating a sense of depth to space as you move through. The design process from these three strategies allowed us to create an open and flexible interior landscape with a variety of spaces all fashioned from the same organizing elements. A unique and important element of the design is a panelized ceiling and wall system that forms a continuous undulating enclosure and gives a visual identity to the space. As you move through the restaurant the ceiling transforms its appearance through the varying of the density, height, and size in order to give depth to the ceiling plane. During the construction process, we worked directly with the manufacturer to develop a series of mockups to create the proper effect. The geometry was formed from the horizontal bending of perforated panels which were laser cut to give them shape in cross-section. Working with a parametric designer we were able to rationalize the panels into 9 standard modules of two different sizes. The overall interior fabrication consists of approximately 900 panels which were prefabricated and hung on site from a supporting structure, providing an economical solution without feeling standardized. For the exterior façade, we extended the language of the interior ceiling by creating a sunscreen to protect the southern façade and give changing transparency and visual texture to the building. The façade panel has 4 types and was clipped to a supporting structure and supported off the glass curtainwall. Together the Ceiling and façade metal panels give a visual identity to the restaurant and unify the design. Located along a primary axis road of the city, the building itself is the primary signage, creating visual interest to welcome guests to visit the restaurant.
Based in New York City, Studio Link-Arc, LLC is an international team of architects and designers. Our name, Link-Arc, refers to the practice’s collaborative nature as well as the company’s mission, which is to work across disciplines to create strategy and design in the fields of urban planning, architecture, spatial art and landscape. We accomplish this by linking knowledge, resources, and intelligence, from multiple perspectives and diverse backgrounds.
Our body of work includes innovative projects at all scales. We see the relationship between architecture and context as an opportunity to create new context, new nature and a new understanding of the world. Through research, we uncover the essential truths unique to each project, and use those truths to create concepts and to shape form. We endeavor to create refined works of architecture. We create spaces that promote contemplation and imagination and provide quiet satisfaction through the simple act of occupation.