2023 IID 🏆 Awards

Silver Winner | Creative Shaanxi gastry-Xiao Chang ‘a | Guo Xin Space Design Studio (Xi’an) Co., Ltd.

The restaurant is located in Xi’an Hi-tech Industries Development Zone, surrounded by various office skyscrapers and occupying an area of 1,500m2, but a quite place for peaceful mind because of its unique design.

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Silver 🏆 Winner
International Interior Design Awards 2023

Creative Shaanxi gastry-Xiao Chang ‘a
Restaurant Interior Built

Guo Xin Space Design Studio (Xi’an) Co., Ltd.

Guo Xin

Design Team
Guo Xin, Li Yang, Li Xingyu

Xi ‘an, Shaanxi Province


©Guo Xin

The overall design style pulses on the spatial borrowing, which has also been applied for the first restaurant of Creative Shaanxi Cuisine-Xiao Chang’an, with red lanterns, old furniture and woodgrain bricks. However, the classic designing elements were taken into account in a disassembled and reassembled manner to bring a distinct feeling varied from the first restaurant.

Before we worked on the design, a dilemma faced ahead of us were pedestrian flow line and level differences of three guest entrances. To tackle with these problems, we paid on-site visit at the restaurant for figuring out the entrances most frequently used by guests and different types of guests for different entrances. Finally we chose the lift room with the highest flow of people, for placing reception desk. The other entrances were simply decorated, and each entrance was set up with functional areas to ensure that guests entering the restaurant could be guided by the restaurant service staff in the first moments.

The hall is furnished with a print of oil painting titled with Sunshine from the famous Artist in France Zhang Chi as the main setting. The nearly five-metre painting posts a strong contrast between people and space. The painting perfectly matches with old Chinese furniture, which is also the classic feature in the restaurant of Xiao Chang’an, setting the tone of the whole, immediately giving guest a sense of immersion.

The three entrances are especially designed with three diverse functional areas, each of which is connected to the other, effectively improving efficiency and reducing staffing costs. Big red lanterns are hanging high at the reception desk in the hall, fragrant tea is brewing on the tea table and the aroma of roast duck is coming out from the open cooking area. Meanwhile, when guests entering into the restaurant from different entrances, they could be served at once.

The roast duck cooking stall, decorated with old green slabstone, has a ”breath of life” that resonates with the memories of the guests. To bring this ”breath’ closer to life, we even collected old objects from the market, such as wooden tools for pressing the traditional Hele mixed vermicelli and a countertop which is made of a hard, cement-like material called “top wall”. The countertop requires workers to sand continuously at the site for its final glossy surface with a smooth, warm and delicate touch. Everywhere in the restaurant could remind guests of the scenes and smells of the streets of their childhood. As for the roast duck cooking stall, the rack decorated with red lanterns enriches the space and makes the open-stall table a highlight of this design.

Excessively long corridor and high height were hard nuts for us to crack. Therefore, we adjusted the height difference and made a gentle slope without steps in food delivery access, so that staff workload has been reduced. The only stepping area was placed in the visible passenger access. Moreover, we designed an external food preparation room, on the one hand, it saves the space for food preparation; on the other hand, the design gives the corridor an undulating visual effect because of a variation of reality and fiction in space. In addition, the accessories of dark wood wainscoting and light strips are the eye-catching focuses for the corridor. 

In the restaurant, several giant red lanterns, the harmony of “old Chinese furniture” combined with modern abstract art paintings, the memories for “breath of life” scenes are the most impressive touching points rather than designing items and objects. The functional areas must also be configured for reducing operation costs, not only to seek after beautiful looking. All these designing skills and methods are based on designer’s experiences and thoughtful deliberation. At Xi’an Chang’an Restaurant, you may not see late-model and expensive materials, but rather hustling and bustling guests. They are the major part of the restaurant atmosphere. The restaurant is like a quiet home-place for them, a relaxing place to go for feasts, for tea, for small gatherings, for sitting and having pleasures.