Tuesday 10 Sep 2013


Happy Panda is a new 200 sq m restaurant located within the Paseo San Francisco shopping centre in Cumbaya, Quito, Ecuador designed by Hou de Sousa.

The ceiling consists of CNC cut plywood and heavyweight interfacing (a fabric used to stiffen dresses and suits). The form of the ceiling and the spaces it creates was inspired by Chinese temples. But the condition of viewing a temple from its exterior as an object in space was inverted, to that of inhabiting a space defined by the mould or negative of a temple's form.

The ceiling is a continuous surface that smoothly transitions between the high dining room spaces and the low service area. This allows customers to experience a fluid expansion and compression of space as they walk through the restaurant.

The spatial configuration of the restaurant accommodates a variety of customer types. The kitchen was located on a mezzanine to maximize the seating area and provide enough space for a bar. The main dining room and private dining room are separated from each other by the bar and a small service area.

The project schedule was expedited by taking advantage of Ecuador's booming signage industry and employing its techniques and materials. In the case of the walls, an homage to the scroll painting, "Qingming Shanghe Tu", was digitally altered, selectively cropped, blown up to the scale of wall paper, and then printed and installed by a billboard advertisement company.

Hou de Sousa