Beijing’s expat hotspot Lido Park gets spruced up with two new F&B establishments designed by Four O Nine. Alywin Chew writes.
Photos: Hu YiHuai
Shanghai-based architecture and design studio, Four O Nine, known for projects such as Commonwealth Athletic Centre in Edmonton and Ritz Carlton in Saigon, has infused the quiet and upscale Lido Park with an architectural flair. The overall design language is defined by a modern interplay of rectilinear shapes that incorporates into the distinctive concepts of the two properties they were commissioned to design.
The first space is a French patisserie, Café 27. Set in a greenhouse, Four O Nine retrofitted the space with a ceramic bar, a pastry kitchen, terrazzo flooring and a series of pivoting doors, all of which come together impeccably to reflect the brand’s emphasis on freshness as well as healthy and quality produce. A mini sky garden – formed by a series of cubic fixtures containing plants – adds a dash of greenery to a colour palette dominated by brown, white and grey.
What is most impressive about this project, however, is the harmonisation of the current structure with new design elements to induce internal climate effects. On hot and humid days, the stained mahogany wooden trellis that envelopes the space functions as a stylistic shade, diffusing sun rays to create a pleasant climate within. The pivoting doors can be employed to release unwanted heat trapped within. In winter, the greenhouse effect, in tandem with the terrazzo flooring, helps the café maintain a comfortable level of warmth.
Within Lido Park, Four O Nine also designed a whiskey bar and cigar lounge commissioned by Chinese celebrity Yang Kun, who had envisioned a private space where he and his close friends could gather. The establishment also features other areas open to the public, where discerning whiskey and cigar aficionados can indulge in their passions amid a sophisticated and exclusive setting.
The main architectural feature in Kun Whiskey Bar is the coffered, peaked ceiling that bends the predominant hues of indigo, which Four O Nine has married with dark leathers, glossy black cabinetry and ebony floors to infuse a sense of exclusivity and mystery in the air while reflecting the nocturnal nature of the establishment. The main lounge sports a Japanese-inspired bar area with grey marble countertops, accompanied by a cosy stage where Yang Kun and his band may at times feature.
The bar is subtly illuminated by sets of minimalist, industrial-like lighting structures, chandeliers in the form of a ship’s wheel, as well as the warm amber glow from glass vitrines used to store the members’ whiskey stash.
In addition to four semi-private nooks that boast a view of Lido Park, the bar also has two private VIP lounges inspired by Prohibition-era speakeasy bars in 1920s Manhattan. These lounges are defined by their secret entrances, enabling high profile guests to avoid the public gaze. The element of secrecy extends to the interiors too, as the coffered walls conceal audio-visual equipment, entry to powder rooms and liquor cabinets.
Four O Nine