Located in Beijing’s central business district, Dongshang is a contemporary Japanese restaurant and bar with wide selections of sake and Japanese whisky, composed of bamboo in many different forms and sizes. The vision of the client was to create a Japanese-style venue, while also representing the elements of Chinese culture, as well as featuring natural materials. The traditional material with strong connections to both Chinese and Japanese arts and crafts covers the walls and ceilings to create an intimate environment. The history of planting and using bamboo in these two countries can be traced back to ancient times, and bamboo symbolizes the anti-urban philosophy in Chinese classic story, the Seven Sages of the Bamboo Grove. The natural quality of bamboo offers guests a calming experience and brings people together in the same way as the ancient narrative.
Guests enter through an intermediate space to maintain a distance between a public hallway and an intimate dining area, which features bamboo strips fixed by brass nails on the walls and a succession of refined bamboo arches on the ceiling. The entry corridor features lights which passes through the bamboo strips at the ceiling and illuminates the walls like sunshine filtering through tree leaves. The main dining is also surrounded by bamboo walls, while on its ceiling, a canopy made of bamboo sticks is suspended over the tables to create a sense of intimacy. Illuminated liquor bottles are displayed on 3mm thick plate shelves made of black steel at a backbar featuring vertical bamboo louvers. The private rooms are soundproofed and equipped with acoustic boards to accommodate karaoke without disrupting the ambiance of the eatery, characterized by a combination of brass and wood. Dongshang invites guests on a story of traditional design motifs and crafting techniques of the two countries, while embracing the classical aesthetics through the contemporary reinterpretation of bamboo. The symbolic material lined space evokes the feeling of dining within a bamboo grove, and intimately links China and Japan.