Siji Minfu Essence Store – A Communal Experience of Taste, City, and Time

Project: Siji Minfu Essence Store at Financial Street
Architects: IN.X Space Design
Location: Beijing, China
Area: 7,319 sf
Photographs by: Zheng Yan

Siji Minfu Essence Store by IN.X Space Design

Exploring tradition to enhance contemporary richness,

Seeking artistry to infuse the experiential journey from the outside in,

As a local brand, conveying broader aspirations through spatial expression

Unveiled within the Beijing International Finance Center, the Siji Minfu Essence Store emerges. Nestled within the bustling “Golden City Square” district, renowned for its fast-paced lifestyle, elite clientele, and mature financial landscape, the Essence Store undergoes a comprehensive upgrade, maintaining brand continuity from visual identity to product offerings.

In this urban epicenter of modernity, IN.X blends natural charm with modern commerce, breathing new life into the longstanding local dining culture of Siji Minfu.

Space Creation Method: Leveraging Strengths

Within the Beijing International Finance Center, dining brands are concentrated on the basement level, presenting multiple design challenges—how to address underground lighting issues; how to create a sense of nature, allowing people to relax in the serious and rational financial center; how to integrate Siji Minfu’s cultural DNA with the high-end demands of the business district; and how to create spatial differences among similar brands.

For Siji Minfu, the historical context of Beijing and the bustling city life are endless sources of inspiration. Both Siji Minfu and the prosperous scenes of Financial Street have been refined by time, rooted in the city, and shaped by their respective development histories. While seemingly distinct in their historical and industrial backgrounds, they possess consistency in parallel—historical context, urban elements, era significance, and humanistic texture, all combining to imbue them with greater strength.

Designers integrate the essence of the Essence Store’s commercial attributes into narratives that diverge from conventional ones, further creating a sense of nature within the city to adapt to the characteristics of the business district and its inhabitants. The combination of materials expressing urban fragments with distinct Oriental art greatly expands the dimension of spatial experience: as people dine, the sense of elongated time and rich urban experience momentarily disconnects them from the present, allowing them to truly relax within a vast, objective envelope.

A Selection of Time Preserved

“We dwell within it, yet fail to perceive where nature ends and art begins.”

Like projecting a long-lost reel of time, the space sinks into a profound and elegant backdrop, resetting people’s previous spatial experiences from the moment they enter. Amidst gray tones, the ceiling employs lighter grays and earthy colors, while lights trickle down like moonlight, rendering surface textures infinitely varied under gentle illumination. This design compensates for the lack of natural light in the underground space and ingeniously creates a soothing and immersive atmosphere through subdued tones.

Columns, red bricks, gray walls, and screens divide the public areas on vertical planes. Extracted and interpreted from imperial architecture, old residences, and common households, these elements coexist in parallel, overlaying the most distinctive qualities of the city onto the space. They stir up orderly, refined, and warm ripples on the surface of space, spreading from the center of each person’s heart to infinity, collectively composing an inseparable spatial atmosphere. Both traditional and classical reproductions use modern materials and undergo simplification and artistic reshaping in structure and form, enabling elements that are far apart in time and meaning to harmoniously coexist.

Areas such as the bar counter and tea table construct miniature natural landscapes, presenting the vigorous vitality of the northern cold air and the microcosmic gardens of literati studios. These fictitious natural spaces propel diners out of the city and towards nature. Their blank spaces of imagination are closer to the profound and implicit value communication of the Essence Store than meticulously reconstructed landscapes.

Few but exquisite themed prints and plaques of Buddha statues and literati landscapes, akin to opening virtual windows on the facade. Even in the heart of the city, there are moments of mountain light filling the room, illuminating the center of the earth and sky. This is also the broader value pursuit that Siji Minfu has embarked on today, extending from the palate.

Strategy First, Design Second

The geographical location of Siji Minfu Essence Store determines its need to accommodate more functions and values than previous outlets: besides catering to natural foot traffic in the business district, as a supporting space for the financial district, it also provides high-quality dining options and business meeting places for high-intensity white-collar workers on a daily basis, undoubtedly contributing to improving work efficiency and regional vitality. Based on multi-dimensional needs, the design has locked in on creating scenes based on high-end business from the outset, elevating texture through cultural enhancement and creating a relaxed atmosphere.

On the other hand, people no longer need to deliberately travel to a specific destination to escape the city, but are soothed by the urban natural feeling created by the design, partly from the scene itself and partly from the imagination inspired by the scene. Diners can relax and dine, negotiate, and contemplate nature more freely while embracing the urban environment.

Combining its own cultural and artistic attributes with those of the city, Siji Minfu Essence Store has a broader scene vision and value proposition, where space and taste complement each other, perpetuating endlessly.

-Project description and images provided by IN.X Space Design


Tags: Beijing, China, IN.X Space Design, interior, luxury, restaurant

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