by Rachel 19 December 2011
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    After much anticipation, Nadaman, Beijing opened its oversized timber doors to become the signature restaurant crowning the four-level retail and F&B podium adjoining to the newly opened Shangri-La Summit Hotel, Beijing. The 8th Nadaman restaurant for the 5* International Hotel chain, Shangri-La Group, Nadaman Beijing, bringing the total number of Nadaman restaurants to 33 venues worldwide.

    The Nadaman chain itself is steeped in two-centuries of rich tradition, and thus all venues are heavily influenced by the sanctity of Japanese culture. Since 1820, the restaurants are known for their gracious hospitality and refined cuisine, and are frequented by royals and world leaders. With leading Japanese chefs the brand prides itself in continually perfecting the balance between the charm of old-world tradition and the ever-evolving culture of modern food.

    With a focus on privacy, the numerous private and semi-private exclusive dining areas service guests with fine Japanese cuisine, prepared by a signature head chef. A choice of a semi-private sushi bar, three semi-private Teppanyaki rooms, two private A La Carte areas and a VIP dining room with an A La Carte area, provides a total capacity of 132 seats.

    Not only providing stunning views of the surrounding Beijing, the restaurant hosts a central piece d'resistance; the sculptural interpretation of the famous Japanese weeping willow tree. Designed by Stickman in conjunction with Beau McClellan, the famous lighting designer, it is part sculpture, part lighting feature. The ‘tree' was hand crafted from over-scaled mirror coated aluminium chopsticks, criss-crossing each other reaching up to the ceiling where the ‘branches' span the entire space only to ‘weep' stylised droplet pendants over the tables, providing an intimate dining experience. The use of LED lighting at the base of the tree, combined with LED skylight panels, provide a sustainable yet dramatic solution. Overhead lights are reduced to a minimum, focusing the light directly over the personal table settings by long weeping willows which are made in 3 sections for easy transportation and screwed together in situ. The light source on the table is a trio of 3 small LED points mounted on a retractable plate at the base of the willow, focusing the light and avoiding glare.

    Each component of the tree was sourced and manufactured within China. The chopsticks are simply connected with small steel grommets so no welding or gluing was necessary. Cutting edge technology enables complete control of the ambient lighting as well as the central feature piece.

    Overall the effect is ethereal and calming, intimate and atmospheric all harping back to an era of exclusive dining in a magical world.

    Having taken 2 years in the design and development this project is the brain-child of Stickman Director Karen Hay, who together with Director, Marcos Cain and the team at Stickman as well as the expertise of Beau McClellan, Nadaman Beijing is to be the talk of the town.



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