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Wang Daquan: BLG French Restaurant, a New Approach to Real Estate Breakthrough by Tanzo Space Design

Project name:
BLG French Restaurant (Haibi Terrace Store)
Architecture firm:
Tanzo Space Design
Hebei, China
Principal architect:
Wang Daquan
Design team:
Jin Ping, Ma Hongxu, Zhang Xiangrong
Interior design:
Tanzo Space Design
Copywriting and Planning: NARJEELING Project Planning: Le Brand Strategy Agency
Built area:
540 m²
Site area:
Design year:
Completion year:
Civil engineer:
Structural engineer:
Environmental & MEP:
Yuguang Decoration (Shanghai) Co., Ltd.
Tools used:
Yuni Property
Hospitality › Restaurant

BLG Value/The Magic of a Restaurant

An open space always has the power to activate and drive urban renewal. The BLG Haibi Terrace store, spanning nearly 600 square meters, has created a miracle: transforming from a mere restaurant into the hottest landmark, driving a challenging third-tier city real estate project and establishing a new model of sales promotion through artistic demonstration — "People are buying houses here because they love dining at the restaurant and being neighbors with Chef Peter."

A decade ago, Haibi Terrace was known for real estate and its supporting facilities as a new domain. Today, it is one of the most expensive locations along the Qinhuangdao coast. As a key real estate project under Kerry Properties, BLG, along with other third spaces, shares an art center building. By adding cultural value through galleries and supporting spaces to a larger real estate plan, it offers a desirable new way of life, constituting the vitality of Haibi Terrace.

BLG's attributes are diverse; the restaurant caters to the Haibi Terrace community residents while being open to the public, gradually becoming a pleasant social hub along the coast. It has become a gathering place for local elites and business communities, gradually turning into the second home in the hearts of many outsiders. This is the magic of BLG; this is the magic of Haibi Terrace.

Haibi Terrace Project: Located in the prime sea-view golden zone of Qinhuangdao. The overall planning of the project is designed by Moshe Safdie, with four sets of L-shaped buildings, two towers, row houses, and commercial spaces. Each unit comes with a balcony or garden, and the layered terrace design ensures sea views for every household. The architectural innovation includes the use of building voids, stacked terraces, interconnected sky bridges, blending human architecture with natural landscapes.

Designed during a 3-month period of the pandemic and constructed in 2 months, TANZO completed the BLG French Restaurant (Haibi Terrace store). Chinese partner and chef Peter (private chef to artist Cai Guoqiang) provides guests with unaltered authentic Southern French cuisine, attracting a full house especially on holidays. Unlike the well-known myth of Ananya, Haibi Terrace is an enclave of an ideal country, waiting for wanderers to end their long journey here and find a home.

In the sea breeze of the Bohai Bay, BLG creates an intersection between people, architecture, and nature, aligning with the life ideal proposed by architect Safdie half a century ago: a Habitat dwelling that includes community, connecting people and nature, inspiring a new way of life through architecture.

Ark on the Shore/Architecture within Architecture

Noah, following God's command, built a large ark to allow land creatures to escape a flood brought about by God's punishment. Inside the gray architectural box, designers have semi-embedded a new structure, a horizontally cylindrical form composed of smooth facades and strip-shaped long windows. After establishing a connection between horizontal and vertical axes, energy and light traverse through it. This "parasitic" architectural technique is ecologically efficient, awakening new imagination and meaning in the symbiotic relationship between the old building and the parasitic structure.

The interplay between landscape and artificial space, nature and imagination, Western architecture and poetic modern design gradually emerges in the nested contrasts. In imagination, it is an ark, and the image of a sea vessel always brings a sense of peace amidst chaos. Its enclosed yet gently enveloping interior is akin to a maternal womb, nurturing the spiritual rebirth of the Bohai Bay.

From the outside in and from the inside out, the building's rounded surface seems weathered by sea waves, and in people's imagination, it can become any space. Importantly, unlike the speechless collective architecture, it is an organically conscious host; people enter it, and then subtle changes follow in certain aspects.

Bar/Space and People Solidify into the Sea

Pass through the narrow black wooden door and step into the black-and-white corridor, and on the ground floor lies a small bar. The diverse and charming French atmosphere, frozen countless times on the movie screen, is now revived, enveloping you in hazy lights mixed with the damp sea mist.

The physical interface between the space and the outside world is the entire glass wall at the corner. "Under the original building's horizontal and vertical structural framework, we needed large glass panels to converse with the sea." During the day, the endless beach and waves extend into a solidified sacred sculpture in the depth. In the evening, the entire glass seems to vanish in the soft light of the indoor lighthouse, and sand grains and waves break and spread on the shore in the rhythm of the wind.

The intervention of semi-parametric design and the wrapping of multiple surfaces inside achieve the "solidified sea," with a gray-white textured surface conveying the rough-grained feeling of sea sand. Sands gather into towers, condensing into soft, meandering waves. The whiskey bar and curved coffee bar in front of you are like two floating islands on the conscious sea. The evening sky, gently swaying clouds, souls rejoicing with glasses in hand, sacred time—each one is awakened one by one by the DJ's music and the harmonious play of the waves.

From the bar, ascend to a new world.

Head Chef Restaurant/Homeland in a Foreign Land

The dim cavity structure of the staircase serves as a prelude, embraced by a sense of security as it ascends until sunlight and sea breeze illuminate the scene. The head chef's radiant smile and the exquisite aroma of Southwest foie gras and Mediterranean oysters momentarily transport people into a trance.

The second-floor space is an "open to the sea" area, with the kitchen occupying half of the space. From the bar to the back kitchen and then to the window with a view of the outdoors, the spatial scale of the chef's domain imparts a sense of intimacy, as if visiting a friend. Clad in black amidst the handcrafted black bricks, the chef blends seamlessly with the background. Above the bar hangs expensive but enduring copper cookware (from the Italian brand Lagostina), and aged beef is fermenting in the aging cabinet, maximizing the complex aromas. Far from his homeland, this kitchen makes Peter no longer a stranger.

Beige woven fabric covers the ceiling equipment, hanging down delicately. The floor tiles are made of a natural stone imported from Spain. Due to the fan-shaped convergence towards the window when viewed from above, the brick joints are adjusted on-site to control this subtle change. The smoky pink glass takes on the colors of wine, roses, sunlight, and sunset. The fishnet-like metal opens inward, allowing people to walk to the outdoor corridor, akin to strolling from an ancient castle to modernity a century ago, shaking off the dust of the ages, appearing fresh and clear.

The strip windows extend internally into smooth arches, and tranquility is the current auditory experience. The pouring sunlight is the divine light in a church, the kitchen light in Proust's snow-night dusk, and the unpolished light of nature. With the folding doors open or closed, these areas can freely switch between open and closed, meeting various dining needs.

A Warm Symbiotic Space

Affected by seasonal changes, maintaining local architectural spaces is not easy, but since its opening, BLG has consistently maintained its elegant vitality. Different outsiders gather here, becoming grains of sand, handfuls of water, coalescing into a symbiotic space that is light, warm, and filled with flowing energy.

"BLG Haibi Terrace store is the core store among the owner's several shops, and operationally, it is the most challenging. Over the past two years, the restaurant has always been in a vibrant state, nurturing the space itself. The owner's enthusiasm, health, and persistence within the restaurant are amplified through this scene, and that is also the achievement of the design."

From 2022 to 2023, Haibi Terrace has become one of the most vibrant business and vacation communities in the local area, also serving as a fervent spiritual haven for countless individuals. The story of BLG continues to be written by them.

Wang Daquan

Senior interior architect

Crossover artist and trailblazer of architectural perception design

Founder of an all-field space design agency of Tanzo Space Design

Wang Daquan, a Chinese contemporary senior interior architect, cross-border artist and pioneer of architectural design, is known as the "Chinese pioneer in boutique hotel and commercial space design." He studied at the Central Academy of Art and Design, and was a member of the Asia-Pacific Hotel Design Association. He studied at the Design Institute of the DA Design Institute and the Tsinghua Hotel in Italy. He has designed a series of iconic boutique hotels and cultural and creative spaces. Representatives include Yongxing Roast Duck Restaurant, Banqiao No. 16 Art Depot, Xiangshan Xiaonan Garden, and Langfang Technology Valley Clubhouse. In 2006, Beijing Tanzo Space Design Co., Ltd. was established as a space creative design agency providing integrated design services in the entire field.

In 2022, the work "Zhangjiakou Library" was nominated for the American Architecture MasterPrize, won the 2022 London Design Awards - Gold Award, and the 2022 Sustainable Development Design Award - Annual Winner (Architecture Category). The work "Guan zizai House" won the 2022 American Architect of the Year Award, the 2022 International Residential Architecture Award, and the 2022 Jin Teng Award for the Best Private House Space of the Year.

Tanzo Space Design Office

In 2006, Mr. Wang Daquan, a senior interior architect of China, founded the Tanzo Space Design Office, a collection of brand, space, art, media, furnishings and other quality resources. A creative design agency for space-integrated design services. Commercial space upgrades, architectural space transformations, and cultural space designs are the main service directions for space design agencies. Including high-end customized boutique hotels, themed restaurants, and office space; planning and upgrading of industrial parks, building facades and interior space transformation; integrated cross-border design services for art galleries, libraries, and personalized private villas of the upstart family. Customers provide professional system solutions.

Since its establishment, Tanzo emphasizes the reconciliation of architecture and yin and yang, focuses on new and old, internal and external, sustainable development of humans and nature, integrates into a cross-cultural design language, and builds a humanistic quality design space at the forefront of the era. Tanzo strictly controls each design detail, emphasizes the high degree of completion of design drawings and built-in effects, and achieves efficient service and high-quality fine design.

By Alfredo Gonzalez

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