From 1985 to 1991 Rick Mather Architects designed a series of restaurants for the Zen chain of Chinese restaurants including restaurants in Hong Kong, Montreal and three in London. The client wanted to establish a new niche for upmarket Chinese food and wanted an architectural setting to reflect the quality of the food and service.
Utilising the site of a redundant post office, the long deep narrow site for Zen Central needed to create an illusion of space which is achieved with a curved wall that sweeps round to the rear of the restaurant. Kitchens, services and storage are effectively concealed behind this screen. The circulation space is dominated by the black-glass bar anf loored in veined marble.
Eating areas are divided into four square zones defined by structural columns, a coved ceiling, a circular skylight or sliding partition doors which means areas can be closed off for private dining or opened up at peak times. Running mirror glass down the length of the dining area doubles the apparant volume.
Zen and the art of body maintenance
Fay Maschler - 25 May 93
Zen and the art of chopstick management
Martin Thomas - Spring 93
Follow the Eros route to excellence
Fay Maschler - 12 Oct 93
The China Syndrome
John Lancaster - 7 Nov 93