Bon Vivant Restaurant
Friday 17 May 2013


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The brief required a contemporary interpretation the French ‘Bon Vivant' and updating this traditional, chic identity to an accessible, yet high-end, Asian brasserie setting.  The client also required three interconnected but separate dining areas, and a new spatial language was required to organise and unify the spaces of the bar and different dining zones.  The result was a ceiling-scape that undulated through the dining area, and that transformed into various elements of the restaurant, including partitions, lighting, seating, and screens.  These elements complemented the operational and privacy needs of the client and studies were made to test out the form in its relation to the body to encourage comfort and delight during the dining experience.

The design tackled a number of difficult problems that were present in the original space - particularly its long, narrow footprint and its location on the third floor of a mall.  Even though the restaurant was small, the client required three different zones for various dining moods and styles. Together with a crystalline bar, the ceiling scape divided the main dining area into two fluid spaces marked by subtle level changes and privacy. The ceiling form also extended out to the patio area, reclaiming part of the public space for the restaurant's own use whilst tying the more casual dining area to the main space.

It was also important to the client that the restaurant be given a strong presence, and that the design of the restaurant was visible from the atrium.  The extension of the ceiling-scape into the public space was the dramatic calling card that firmly cemented the restaurant's identity within the mall.  Finally, being a high-end French restaurant, it was imperative that the formal dining areas were sufficiently removed from the mall setting that included several boutiques and stores.  The screens that grew out from the ceiling form were angled to provide the required level of privacy while allowing light from the central atrium skylight to dapple into the space.

The restaurant design has not only fulfilled the client's functional and operational requirements, it has also provided the restaurant with a strong presence and identity within the mall, while removing the mall atmosphere from the interior dining areas.  Stepping into Bon Vivant Restaurant, the customer is transported to a completely different experience, one of dramatic, modern French-Asian dining.

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