Interview with yi chen at Monday 25th of April 2016: DI: What is the main principle, idea and inspiration behind your design?
yc : DesignersYi CHEN&Muchen ZHANG said: “The longing to go back to natureand the respectfor life and living. The project is situated in a serene park surrounded by soaring skyscrapers and this is what motivated us most when we decided to take it. To design a place wherepeople can truly experience the essence of nature and get surrounded by a natural ambience had been inspiring us all the way. We tried to turn into reality our conceptual ideaof abuilding that really reflects the time and space for life. This is because we believe that apart from the basic requirement of fulfilling client’s needs, every building should fit into the surrounding environment perfectly, and pay respect to the unique feeling of growth from nature. Therefore, we wanted to create a spiritual space closer to what people aredreaming of, where they can relax, recuperate, breathe and enjoy the best moment of their life.”
DI: What has been your main focus in designing this work? Especially what did you want to achieve?
yc : To design a unique building that blends in with the surrounding natural world, like a natural growth of the woods, yet keeps the life of the original building intact, freely flowing without being interrupted.
DI: What are your future plans for this award winning design?
yc : We’d like an opportunity to design another work that promotes harmony between the architecture, its indoor space, and its surroundings. The idea of designing a church also occurred to us
DI: How long did it take you to design this particular concept?
yc : Six months.
DI: Why did you design this particular concept? Was this design commissioned or did you decide to pursuit an inspiration?
yc : Actually, we’re not as bound by the project owner’s design specifications as by their practical and functional requirements.The project is situated in a serene park surrounded by soaring skyscrapers and this is what motivated us most when we decided to take it. To design a place where people can truly experience the essence of nature and get surrounded by a natural ambience had been inspiring us all the way.
DI: Is your design being produced or used by another company, or do you plan to sell or lease the production rights or do you intent to produce your work yourself?
yc : We have such plans.
DI: What made you design this particular type of work?
yc : It’s the longing to go back to natureand the respect for life and living. Beijing has notoriously polluted air and increasing hazy days around the year, leading to unbearable breathing experience in some extreme cases. And there is great stress fromliving and work. People are in desperate need of a place where they can find shelter in nature and relax. Therefore, we wanted to create a spiritual space closer to what people are dreaming of, where they can relax, recuperate, breathe and enjoy the best moment of their life. This is the intention and motivation for our design.
DI: Where there any other designs and/or designers that helped the influence the design of your work?
yc : Yes, we worked as a team. Muchen Zhang and I were responsible for working out plans, with others tasked to flesh out and follow through them.
DI: Who is the target customer for his design?
yc : All the users of the restaurant.
DI: What sets this design apart from other similar or resembling concepts?
yc : The restaurant is an attempt to blend an architecture and its natural surroundings. As a result, trees seem to have grown out of the architecture. We have also added a retro touch reminiscent of the memories of the 1980s.
DI: How did you come up with the name for this design? What does it mean?
yc : It’s from the original restaurant. So named because it wasbuilt beside the lake in the park.
DI: Which design tools did you use when you were working on this project?
yc : A design language combining contemporary minimalism and naturalism
DI: What is the most unique aspect of your design?
yc : The trees and the architecture blend so well that we have the best of both worlds and the trees seem to grow out of the architecture.
DI: Who did you collaborate with for this design? Did you work with people with technical / specialized skills?
yc : Muchen Zhang and I were responsible for working out plans, with others tasked to flesh out and follow through them. We discussed details on techniques and specialized skills with the constructor during the construction process.
DI: What is the role of technology in this particular design?
yc : Technology effectively helped us in achieving a perfect harmony betweeninterior and exterior spaces.
DI: Is your design influenced by data or analytical research in any way? What kind of research did you conduct for making this design?
yc : We’re not influenced by data or analytical research. The longing to go back to nature and some research on oriental ideas of beauty, however, did have an impact on our design.
DI: What are some of the challenges you faced during the design/realization of your concept?
yc : The greatest challenge was to communicate our concept to the client and convince them during design planning.
DI: How did you decide to submit your design to an international design competition?
yc : A’ Design Award is a prestigious prize in international design field. Being part of it would allow more people, either laymen or professionals, from other countries to know about our work. And we expect it to bring in more opportunities for professional exchanges and real projects.
DI: What did you learn or how did you improve yourself during the designing of this work?
yc : We realized that an architectureowes its duerespect to nature. We shall not focus only on concept and style; instead, more emphasis shall be placed on complying with and respecting nature, and on creating humble designs that foster a harmonious relationship with nature.
DI: Any other things you would like to cover that have not been covered in these questions?
yc : None.