Nan Xin Cang was one of the royal granaries for grains and rice storage in Beijing during the Ming and Qing Dynasties. It was originally built in 1409 during the 7th year of Emperor Yong Le's reign on the site of Bei Tai Cang which had earlier been erected during the Yuan Dynasty. It has a 600-year history and is almost the same age as Beijing's Forbidden City. Although used to store food in ancient times, most storehouses have been torn down in the 20th century. Today, only a small portion of the granary remain, and some of them have turned into a cultural street with an art gallery, a theatre, and popular restaurants serving some of the most popular cuisines in Beijing.
My program is a Chinese restaurant. Ancient barns are symbols of good harvest. A restaurant, a place of dining, and barns, a place of storing grain, match each other very well. To protect the historical building, minimal intervention must be considered in the redesign process. However a new basement will be digged as well to work as a service area. The sturcture of the barns are one of a traditional Chinese wood structure and the walls are dams-liked in order to hold the grains and rice inside. This architectural characters are retained with preservation and restoration. Then, a mezzanine is added in order to enlarge the space. Due to the sloping roof it has, people will be close to the wood beams and ceiling on both side of the mezzanine. It provides a new perspective toward the historical structure and fabric. The decoration concept is coming from the culture of Tang Dynasty (618-907AD), which is the golden age period through the Chinese history.
All the VIP rooms are on the mezzanine level. People are close to the wood beams and ceiling on both side of the mezzanine. It provides a new perspective toward the historical structure and fabric.