An Inside Look at Sunni 67 in Beijing

An Inside Look at Sunni 67 in Beijing

Sunni 67 is a private kitchen featuring fresh ingredients and exquisite culinary skills. The design of the interior should allow people to peacefully enjoy wonderful food from the bustling city. Both the interior design and the visual identity was designed by the Chinese Atelier About Architecture.

“Inspired by In Praise of Shadowsby Japanese writer Junichiro Tanizaki, the architect tries to explore the connection between taste and vision to create a space that is “melting dimly, dully back, deeper and deeper”. The light falling slowly from the ceiling was filtered and softened by the Polycarbonate panels. It is then gently blocked and defused by the white stone surface of the dinning table, making the upper part of the space with a gentle and homogeneous hue. The rest slices of light are absorbed by the dark shale when they touch the floor, which transits the lower part of the space into dimmer tones. It not only whittles down people’s attention on the lower space, but also defines a blurring boundary in horizontal perspective, offering an infinite visual extension to the space. The wooden rails attached to the wall stopped the views from the outside, which adds more privacy to the interior and introduces measured natural light into the interior. The light keeps changing with the passing of time within a day, playing gently with the artificial illumination inside the space.The spotlights from the ceiling are projected on the desktop to intensify the dining area, food has thus become the leading role, adding a sense of solemn to the ritual of “eating”. The light of the whole restaurant is designed to be “dim and subtle” to create a sense of tranquility. The dishes and objects inside the space, aftering being attached with this medium, are somehow reduced from the excessiveness of their own brightness and became more gentle, demonstrating the architect’s pursuit of “restraint” in Eastern aesthetics. The lighting can be adjusted to satisfy the needs of different dining occasions, for example, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner, bar, and among many others. The restaurant is designed in free plan by opening all the basic spaces except the bearing walls. The space is partitioned by 1-metre-wide L-shaped wooden grille units which are custom made for the restaurant. The grilles can move freely in both transverse and longitudinal directions by, creating a flexible dining area together with the the moving of white fabric curtains. The space can be mainly transformed into 5 different types in accordance with the changes of moveable partition walls and people’s experiences. The free plan has greatly diversified the functions of the space and optimized its utilization. The architect tried to explore the commonalities among various materials in order to establish an inner connection, thus creating a peaceful and quiet dining atmosphere, such as the linear characteristics of Polycarbonate panels and wooden grilles, the glittering texture of the translucent Polycarbonate panels and the reflective quality of the white stones. The kitchen in Chinese restaurants, usually recognized as dirty, noisy and with lack of decency, has always been hidden in an obscure corner in the restaurant and remain invisible. However, the architect understands the cooking as the commencement of the ritual of “eating”, an indispensable part of the dining experience. Therefore, the architect boldly adopted the idea of “stage” and opened the kitchen space in a confident manner to create more intimate connection between the food and the guest as well as to enhance the communication among different characters inside the restaurant,” explained Atelier About Architecture

  • Location: Beijing, China
  • Date completed: 2017
  • Size: 5,382 square feet
  • Design: Atelier About Architecture
  • Design team: Zhang Dawei, Wang Ni, Yang Shujun, Shou Daguang, Qiu Zheng
  • Photos: Sun Haiting
Dining area

Layout for big party
With white curtains down

Opening proces of curtains
Polycarbonate panel
Islet countertop
Open Chinese kitchen
Polycarbonate panels