Located in Beijing, Lucky Bar was originally a ramen shop that has been adapted into a BBQ bar by the Chinese architects of Robot3. With a total area of only 52 square-metres, excluding the kitchen, the project features narrow spaces, a limited budget and a simple plan.
Robot 3 was enlisted to create a transformation from shop to eatery, and has done so by initially drawing inspiration from the restaurant’s geographic location and its socio-economic significance in the greater urban context that is the Chinese capital, but in the end settling for the conclusion that design can be a transformative force that’s able to create new perceptions. Given the limited budget, the architects thus created a cocoon-like setting out of panels of corrugated metal covering the walls and ceiling of the elongated space.
Each ring road of Beijing is a rough division between social classes. The invisible walls made up of power and wealth divide the city into pieces of fixed territories, some of which are inaccessible to the majority of its inhabitants. Each area has a stable hierarchical structure and complicated codes that the design aims to overcome and crack. With Lucky Bar, Robot3 proposes a wormhole, or a multi-dimensional tunnel connecting two distant spaces.
The selection of a few uncommon materials like galvanised iron plates, PVC curtains and paint results in a metallic hut that acts as a psychological switch and with a metaphorical meaning of “soft metal is the power to guard out nature.” An informal dining position has been chosen, similar to the squatting one used in picnics. This generates a relaxing and intimate atmosphere that permits the diners to see the usually-neglected low dimension of the world.