wu wei / IN.X completes siji minfu (maliandao) restaurant in beijing
WU WEI FROM IN.X COMPLETES THE SIJU MINFU RESTAURANT (MALIANDAO)
siju minfu (maliandao) restaurant is in a 1980s building that served as a warehouse for paper products at the northwest intersection of honglian road and maliandao huton in Beijing. for the next 40 years, the function of the building was not defined – until 2020, when the new siju minfu site was handed over to designer wu wei from IN.X who continued to transform and remodel it. renovate it.
As a mature catering brand in Beijing for 14 years, Siji Minfu faces an increasingly young clientele with diverse catering needs. on top of that, rapid urbanization has accustomed people to small and overcrowded dining rooms. connecting new dining needs with the current standard of dining experience, the brand is stepping out of the comfort zone and redefining the “public dining” experience.
all images © zheng yan
REDEFINING THE PUBLIC CATERING EXPERIENCE
INXThe final design of the restaurant creates a remarkably comfortable dining experience that combines Contemporary design techniques with a traditional regional culture and ancient architectural symbols to foster a dynamic timeline that interacts with all who enter the space. once inside, visitors are greeted by an open waiting area where a huge coffer structure suspended from the ceiling opens up to the red-colored ambience exclusive to siji minfu. a sculptural upside-down module brings diners together to sit while a mirror plan reflects the central landscaped area on the roof, stretching the view vertically.
the landscaped area is made up of an aquatic landscape and rocks accentuated by the hanging branches of persimmons which recall “childhood memories of life in the courtyard”. to complete the culinary experience, a red bar accentuates the space with its 5.2 meter high red facade that extends upward, curves into a surface and connects to the building structure to form a nested module in a gray cement box. at dinner time, large-scale rendered blue lights spill over from the ceiling and part of the walls, like a digital skylight.
golden, red and grayish hues make up the restaurant’s color palette
PRESERVE THE TRACES OF THE ORIGINAL WAREHOUSE BUILDING
wu wei adopted a moderate renovation technique to preserve the traces of the original building – including its super volume and large-scale qualities. he started by dismantling the interior space into two modules – including an open space on the first floor and the f-shaped roundabout on the second floor. under the roundabout, a closed functional space is occupied by duck stoves, a kitchen and private rooms. playing on perspective and visual exploration, a corridor connecting the east and west stairs reveals the entire restaurant while a sculptural escalator acts as the focal point of the space.
Moving on to the second floor, a 360-degree open room welcomes people into the large and open “temple”, where the columns are tall and marbled – merging old and new materials. ‘in the almost grandiose scene, the solemn and silent space, the rough and soft texture, the gurgling water and the everyday emotions overlap, and peace and grace coexist in the place’,
the greyish bricks are reminiscent of residential buildings in Beijing
entry to siji minfu restaurant (maliandao)
upside down sculptural module brings the guests together
blue lights describe the shape of the stairs at dinner time