The Golden Egg Bar, situated on the Third Ring East, Beijing, is the latest of Ballistic Architecture Machine’s restaurants to open in 2013. The owner of the restaurant – Chinese, but who grew up in London – envisaged that it would be a late night eatery, serving fusion Sichuan cuisine.
The designers came up with the concept of combining Chinese elements with a 1950s American Diner theme. This has been achieved by using Ming chairs, vibrant colours, and by setting sliding screen doors against chequerboard flooring. The Chinese are superstitious about interior corners, so curvilinear walls in the restaurant have been employed.
Lining the walls of the Golden Egg are diner-style 4-top booths, with a ‘Chinese’ polychrome graphic floating above them. The restaurant’s pièce de résistance is a large, highly polished Golden Egg. The Egg is not just decorative: it functions as a full bar and service counter. Whilst the seating at the side of the bar near the entrance to the restaurant is full barstool height, steps accessed at the back of the Egg provide for a more relaxed chair height for dining at the bar.
In the spirit of a 1950s American automobile, along with other items from diner culture, a stylised fin sits atop the Egg. In addition, the fin is a luminous shelf for displaying wine, accompanied by a backdrop of zooming dimmable LED battens. The juxtaposition of contemporary Sichuan food and 1950’s US diner culture creates a vibrant and convivial atmosphere in the restaurant. In the same way as the fusion of the cuisines, this fusion of cultures is visually exciting and provocative.
Images © Jonathan Leijonhufvud