Friday 03 Dec 2010


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Capital M opens it's newest restaurant in the heart of Beijing

Location is all important. Tiananmen Square had enormous symbolic significance both in ancient & modern history, and is one of the most famous public spaces on the planet. Beijing is booming and transforming. As a city it is embracing daring and sophisticated design enthusiastically. To overlook the Tiananmen Square is awe-inspiring, requiring a design solution that is both respectful and authentic.

The success and strength of M restaurants and bars is that the individual designs bring together the spirit of both the M brand and the cities they are within. Our mandate to embody the M Brand in the interior has been achieved by providing a stage for great food in great surroundings. We have created intimacy within a 400 seat restaurant ensuring no seat is second best and providing choices in experience. There is a layering in the design which can be discovered with each visit and provides versatility for everything from formal to informal, large and small groups, business and celebrations. The design evolved as a response to our first site visit where we were struck by the austerity, grandeur and monumentality of the surroundings. Our gut reaction was to complement this and overlay it with the essence of ‘M’ flamboyance, glamour and joyfulness. Versailles meets Forbidden City!

The interior is thoughtfully bespoke. Local craftsman and artisans hand-carved floral ceilings, laid bold black & white geometric terrazzo flooring, and tattooed mild steel columns with Chinese motifs. The 'industrial quality' of the fireplaces contrasts with the fine detailing of the formal dining room, and the flickering of the fire brings warmth and coziness to the space. The glamour of the silver, gunmetal & turquoise of the velvet sofas contrasts with woven cane & willow chairs. Coarse hemp rugs, rattan, and mustard yellow & red leathers fill the dining room. Arriving at the restaurant, you are met with the richly coloured entrance canvas of a 50m long mural titled 'Journey', by artist Michael Cartwright.

Looking out through the Terrace landscape, there is the monumental vista of the old gates to the Forbidden City on Tiananmen Square. Looking in we wanted to have something just as spectacular along the entire spine wall of the space. The mural is inspired by a river scene in a 16th Century Chinese tapestry and is evocative of strolls through the gardens of the Forbidden City and Summer Palace. The collaboration between Artist and Designer has blurred the boundaries between art, architecture, interiors and landscape to achieve and authentic and unique experience. Capital M has already become a recognized destination with a modern and relevant design that will maintain its position at the forefront of hospitality in China.