Bei - Asian Restaurant
bei (meaning “north” in chinese) is a restaurant based on northern asian cuisine located in beijing, china. the interior architectural design is based on a concept of forest and clearing, where a sense of enclosure is achieved by screens made out of dark stained wood that surrounds the main dining area. walking into bei, one is surrounded by a forest of “trees” – wooden members physically and visually screening those within from the outside. passing through the second screen one enters a clearing, defining the open public dining area of the restaurant. above this room is where bird lights dance with sparks of light randomly hung from the ceiling, seemingly caged within the screen. the dining room has a sense of calm and serenity achieved by the muted color scheme as well as crisp finishes and detailing. low ambient lighting provides the general mood in contrast with the sparkles of the abstracted bird lights and bird cages above. a raw bar takes center stage in this dining room and a large mirror behind the chef’s aisle allows the patrons sitting at the bar to celebrate the art of the cuisine by viewing food preparation and at the same time brings depth to a very compressed space. this bar which spans across almost the entire dining room is made out of concrete with a purple wall beyond, providing not only a focal point visually but a sense of theatre and drama, which is often the attraction of fine dining for the patrons. visible beyond the clearing are five white boxes, carved within to house the private dining rooms. the interior of those rooms are clad in raw oak wood, providing a different color combination to that of the main dining room, but still in keeping with the forest theme by using a raw finish so that one can see and touch the grains of the wood. windows above lead one’s eye to urban scenes which are printed behind glass panels set-in a box opening to give depth and a sense of perspective. this strategy allows diners to view a layer of urban domesticity prevalent in the everyday society we live in.


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