Cong Banquet, the Latest Restaurant Project by Associate Interior Design

Cong Banquet, the Latest Restaurant Project by Associate Interior Design

Cong Banquet is a restaurant in the city of Liangzhu, Northwest of Hangzhou. Its name is derived from the shape of the Cong, a long hollow piece of jade with rectangular sides and a central round hole, which symbolises the formation of divine authority or identity consciousness and the beginning of civilisation.

A homage to the traditional ritual heritage, Cong Banquet is a stand-alone building that takes inspiration from the Cong’s shape, colour, meaning, and quality to interpret the taste, charm, significance, and soul of new fusion cuisine, striving to create a classical dining space that has an everlasting charm.

An aerial view of the restaurant at night

Solid walls and glasses act as the boundary to enclose an L-shaped open-air water courtyard, which provides sufficient daylight for the internal space and introduces the seasonal scenery indoors.

The stunning view of the staggered sloping roof, surrounded by lush green trees, sky clouds, and gentle wind, is reflected on the water’s surface, creating a mirroring effect. Water possesses its own unique material nature and holds profound cultural connotations. It is associated with a gentlemanly flair, and its mild and humid meaning is similar to jade.

A panoramic photo showing the extent of the water features in the courtyard

Echoing Cong’s square and round shapes, the restaurant’s outdoor area features circular functional components of different sizes placed on the square water surface, with the largest circular outdoor rest area connected by the verandah formed by the eaves and the setback building facade. It is a perfect space for parties and talks among friends at night.

In Eastern aesthetics, the courtyard is viewed as an extension of the interior, expanding the space, extending the view, and creating an artistic conception. The interior and exterior aspects work together seamlessly, forming an organic and indivisible whole.

The colours of objects are inextricably linked with emotions, which are then reflected in physical space. As the path winds its way, it generates rhythms of varying sizes, widths, and heights. Jade-textured materials are employed to highlight the theme, constructing ceremonial corridors via floor pavement, partial facades, and structure nodes.

Two photographs showing the the colours that greet diners

The entrance is adorned with an art installation that reflects the flowers’ joy, enthusiasm, and organic agility, forming a sharp contrast with the darkness and order of the surroundings.

The corner features an end view arranged along the axis and asymmetrical balance, which creates a new visual language. The “scene-setting” design approach helps to soften the tough aisles. The rocks growing out of the ground, the branches of trees suspended on the ceilings, the light-transmitting ceiling, and the special-shaped rocks form a three-dimensional dynamic landscape.

The dark jade colour used on the interior walls

The expansive dark colour in the space serves as a metaphor for the soil’s colour, effectively emphasising and highlighting the essential elements of spatial expression.

The banquet hall’s windows overlook the courtyard, making the outdoor landscape a significant aspect of its appearance. The dark wood outlining the appropriate height divides the facade into two parts, with the lower part creating a close scale with the dining area and the upper part integrating with the ceiling.

The square-shaped elements are arranged and combined sequentially, creating a grand sense of ceremony that echoes the outward shape of the Cong. Friends are invited to gather and have a drink together in this space, enjoying a unique and memorable gathering experience.

The cashier area of this space is distinct from traditional setups as it is not located within a defined area with a single function. Instead, it is hidden behind a corridor that also serves as a lounge and tea room. This design was chosen to prioritise the overall purity and integrity of the space over commercial attributes.

Two photographs, one of the display cabinets, the other of the wine cabinet

The wine cabinet made of glass serves a dual purpose of display and allowing the line of sight to pass through under the rendering of light, which subtly extends and enriches the finish. In the background, a calligraphy scroll of “Liangzhu” hangs, unfolding a dramatic dialogue between history and contemporary times.

The concept of a round sky and square ground is not only conveyed through graphic shapes but also rooted in ancient philosophy. It is embodied in the circular hole in the wall that allows for a shift in diameter and stagger between the inner and outer circles. They are interconnected to create a landscape scene together with the adjacent space, making the thick facades light and poetic.

A solution was implemented to address the corner window sofa seating issue by installing an L-shaped half-height wall. This addition adds rich colours and perceptible material texture while also providing a contemporary aesthetic that is both unique and unbalanced.

The texture of Cong is unique compared to other materials as it represents a harmonious and balanced integration. The theoretical foundation for constructing a broad and unified civilisation across diverse regions is the principles of pluralism, inclusiveness, and continuity.

A photograph showing the interior of the banquet hall

In designing the Cong Banquet interior, the colours, materials, and decorative elements were carefully chosen to create a diverse and visually rich space that combines rough and exquisite details.

Since food evolved in line with the development of civilisation, the brand origin of Cong Banquet is closely related to the site’s history. The design team precisely captured the brand’s essence and interpreted it into the shape of the space.

As a result, regardless of the craftsmanship of cuisine or utensils, the individual tastes, aesthetics, cognition, and associations about them are always iterated and updated with the times, but the pursuit of mental state has never changed.

A photograph showing the high quality interior design

Cong Banquet – Where and how?

  • Address: BIRLAND 21-101, Liangzhu Street, Yuhang District, Hangzhou City, Zhejiang Province, China
  • Design company: Associate Interior Design
  • Principal Designer: Jianwei Ge
  • Design Team: Junhui Ma, Lili Xue, Tianzhe Yang, Qinpeng Chen, Bing Fan, Sheng Wang, Yang Zhou, Xinyue Lu, Chenwei Li, Chuhong Ruan, Jiamin Li, Jiali Chen

Cong Banquet Photographs by Song Ye.

Read more design features here.

A photograph showing the full height glass walls overlooking the courtyardCong Banquet, the Latest Restaurant Project by Associate Interior Design 2

Editorial Team

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