Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
URBAN HARVEST in HANGZHOU, China by Atelier I-N-D-J
January 13th, 2016 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: Atelier I-N-D-J
Two adjacent spaces are conjoined by a banal harsh white mall space. Hundreds of fibre glass sheets hang delicately over head – effusing a soft milky light that unites the otherwise disparate spaces.
The two spaces house a restaurant.
Within; formal / intimate / dark / moody dining.
Without; open seating that lures the casual diner for lunch / afternoon tea / dinner or merely liquid refreshment or ritualistic appeasement of one’s phone’s power demands – a charge bar satisfies the most modern of daily gripes whilst nourishment from a most plentiful menu provides comfort and respite for the weary shopper.
Naked columns revel in their patinaed skin, with scrawls from workman and the scars or construction still honestly etched into the hard concrete. Waxed blackened steel and soft emerald leather juxtapose against gleaming brass light fixtures and polished brass gauze that thinly veil a soft intimacy for the diners within – Burnt and burnished timber strips line the walls, with a look of smoky chimerical odour that gives a moody aura to these more formal dining areas. In the central area movable furniture and fittings take on a warm if industrial air, the honeyed iridescent surfaces a consequence of the hexavalent passivation coating.
LED grow lamps emit full spectrum light that bathes the surrounding dining spaces in a eerie magenta that belies the hues futuristic intent – Aquaponics apparatus occupy a central area; grow lights hover above suspended grow tubes with a substrate that supports Micro Greens, Sprouts and Lettuce and Pak Choi as well as Basil and Mint – ingredients that are harvested by the kitchen for use in the restaurants dishes, grown on-site these ingredients clearly do not need to be delivered; they have no ‘food miles’ which means slightly fewer trucks on the roads. In addition mushrooms of a variety of species feature in many dishes and are grown with remarkable efficiently by local suppliers, these are placed on display and continue their late stage growth within the restaurant space – once ready the mushrooms are harvested for use in various rather delicious recipes. The root ball may be regrown twice – giving the opportunity for customers to take the mushrooms home, re-grow harvest, cook and eat.
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