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'A full expression of Zen': Architect Sun Tianwen inspired by Japanese seasons for vivid Setsugekka restaurant

Instead of saying ‘what is this?’, it is more significant for us to focus on the question ‘what feelings do we want to convey?’
– Sun Tianwen

The colours of the changing seasons in Japan have inspired architect Sun Tianwen to design an eye-catchingly luminous restaurant in the city of Changchun, China.

The concept for the 1,300sq m (14,000sq ft) restaurant, called Setsugekka, derives from the ancient Japanese art and design tradition of the same name, which celebrates the motifs of snow, moon and flowers and the passage of time throughout the year.

Sun’s restaurant, therefore, features vivid LED lights around the interior which change to illuminate the space in the colours of blue-white for winter, yellow-white for autumn and pink-white for spring.

The different elements in the minimalist space – including clear glass dividers, an extensive light band and a complete black background to the sushi counter – have been designed and arranged to come together harmoniously as “a full expression of Zen” that create "a rippling blossom before the eyes in an ‘aha’ moment".

“No matter how exquisite the concept and definition are, any space most likely ends up being judged by form alone,” said Sun, who leads design studio Shanghai Hip-pop. “However, we reject any simple theory or opinion. Instead [we want to achieve something deeper] when embracing the architectural and interior environments that we live in.

“Instead of saying ‘what is this?’, it is more significant to focus on the question ‘what feelings do we want to convey?’”

Sun Tianwen  Setsugekka  restaurant design  Japan  China  architecture 
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The colours of the changing seasons in Japan have inspired architect Sun Tianwen to design an eye-catchingly luminous restaurant in the city of Changchun, China. The concept for the 1,300sq m (14,000sq ft) restaurant, called Setsugekka, derives from the ancient Japanese art and design tradition of the same name, which celebrates the motifs of snow, moon and flowers and the passage of time throughout the year. Sun’s restaurant, therefore, features
CLD,HHR,RST,ARC,DES
The concept for the 1,300sq m (14,000sq ft) Setsugekka derives from the ancient Japanese art and design tradition of the same name / Zhang Jing
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company profile
Company profile: Robert D. Henry Architects + Interiors
Robert D Henry Architects (RDH-Architects) was founded in 1990 in New York City by Bob Henry, known as the “sensuous architect of serenity.”
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