Tianmen Mountain Restaurant by Liu Chongxiao


Tianmen Mountain Restaurant by Liu Chongxiao

A triangulated glass and steel restaurant sits beside a river in a remote forested gorge in southern China.

Tianmen Mountain Restaurant by Liu Chongxiao

Designed by Liu Chongxiao, the Tianmen Mountain Restaurant is located at the foot of a ravine leading down from the top of a mountain popular with sightseers.

Tianmen Mountain Restaurant by Liu Chongxiao

The restaurant is constructed from triangular panels of alternating timber and glass strips that allows diners a view of the surrounding landscape.

Tianmen Mountain Restaurant by Liu Chongxiao

The building is raised off the ground on steel feet to prevent flooding and gives access to the river via an external staircase.

Tianmen Mountain Restaurant by Liu Chongxiao

Tianmen Mountain forms a national forest park near the town of Guilin and also contains a historic temple.

Tianmen Mountain Restaurant by Liu Chongxiao

Other mountainside projects from the Dezeen archive include a red-striped health centre in the Spanish Sierra de Gardor mountains, a concrete house in the Alps and a steeply pitched house in the Pyrenees.

Tianmen Mountain Restaurant by Liu Chongxiao

Photography is by Deng Xixun, Liu Chongxiao, He Rong and Song Ya.

Tianmen Mountain Restaurant by Liu Chongxiao

Here's some more information from the architect:

Tianmen Mountain Restaurant by Liu Chongxiao

Located on riverside opposite the peach blossom island which is a fantastic sight point in Tianmen Mountain scenic of Guilin, the restaurant was oriented not as a building but a special viewfinder.

Tianmen Mountain Restaurant by Liu Chongxiao

The concept is to create unique experience through combine the natural environment with the manmade boundary surface.

Tianmen Mountain Restaurant by Liu Chongxiao

Click above for larger image

The 627-square-meters interior space contains repast space, kitchen and toilet. The ground floor is elevated to respond the change of water levels.

Tianmen Mountain Restaurant by Liu Chongxiao

On the restaurant’s interior, the steel beams support roof and the beams also accommodate several strip -shaped clerestory windows which bring in natural light and view from outside. A series of different shaped shelves made of local fir looks warm and vernacular. The building looks like a super window for overall view.

Tianmen Mountain Restaurant by Liu Chongxiao

Observing the exterior facade of the building from various angles, through the architectural interplay of composition of solid and void, one could sense a mixture of architectural exterior membrane interacting with the nearby bamboo grove, mountain and the materiality of interior space.

Tianmen Mountain Restaurant by Liu Chongxiao

Once entering the building, one’s perception is surrounded by the combined power of building materiality, natural lighting and adjacent landscape. This new sense is generated by the juxtaposition of the building merging with the natural surroundings.

Tianmen Mountain Restaurant by Liu Chongxiao

While the rain falling in drops, there was a soft, hushed secondary light around the warm interiority which constructed by fir, and the beautiful scene of river rise gleaming...Everything, the water, the air, sound, material presences, textures...calmed people's heart. The sense of expectation that filled them while they were sitting there.

Tianmen Mountain Restaurant by Liu Chongxiao

Architect: Liu Chongxiao
Client: Guilin Zijiang Danxia Tourism Co. LTD
Location: Guilin, China
Planning team: Jiang bo, Mo Keli, Wang Chao
Design team: Liu Chongxiao, Li When, He Rong, Fan Yi, Zhang Yue, Wu Xi, Ren Sijie
Project area: 627 square meters
Project Year: 2011

  • What an inspired design. It is like a triangular cobweb and is so fitting within the ravine.

  • claystephens

    Spectacular! Would love to see how it will be furnished!

  • James

    Michael Graves could't even ruin such a great site.

  • steef

    You can't see anything of the surroundings because of the triangular design. And the interior layout of tables shows once again that interior design is a trade on its own..

  • Katsudon

    I feel like it's a design that wants to be seen which in such natural environment misses the target of making itself discreet. The colors, black frame and stripes of saturated yellow wood and black void makes it look like a huge bee resting in the bottom of the gorge. The object itself looks good and the level of detail reached in such a remote place seems nice.
    But it's obviously the first thing that you notice when visiting here instead of the landscape and the feeling of being in an untouched place is dead… anyway such feeling is already hard to reach in any touristic area in China. :-D

    A mountain apart, no one to be seen,
    Only echoes of someone's talk to hear:
    Returning light goes into deep woods
    And shines on green moss again to rise

    Wang Wei

  • emset

    where is the kitchen located?

  • The site offers such a great scenery that you can't actually see through the window…

  • TMS

    totally agreeing with katsudon here. The building is beautiful, and the site is beautiful, but they seem to be in disharmony. I would almost rather in in a cheap open shack to appreciate the surroundings, but the whole building is still a pretty impressive achievement I have to say. Maybe someone can just go outside to enjoy the view?

  • Anju Dembla

    Blocked out triangles or a triangular block-out…

  • Triangles everywhere. I think that they give an extraterrestrial look to the buildings.

  • Really amazing house. In a perfect harmony with the beautiful nature. A worthy 21st century descendant of Frank Lloyd Wright's prairie houses (i.e). I wish I culd spend there a week with my partner… only a futon is needed… and maybe a Macintosh :-)

  • eugmir

    great materials, detailing – the triangulation ruins the view!

  • Sinification

    COngradulations for the native native Chinese design! – i'm tired of seeing foreigners come and design in china….

  • There is much to be facinated by with this strong project. I appreciate the confidence- this is not a timid response to show deference to a gorgeous and pristine natural site. The stilts are a noteworthy footnote to questions of sustainability. A question of future development encouraged by this project haunts me- will this creation generate little pods of offspring running wild down the edges of the riverbank?

  • Great natural light solution. But I do wonder about the artificial illumination plan, because I don't see any recessed lighting in the ceiling —I assume it will all be suspended?

  • gambiro

    i think it such a waste if you made good architecture but you do nothing about the interior..

  • jing

    would be nice if it is of freer shape and the panels are stone plate.

  • Jenny

    can't decide if I love it. Exterior looks more like a caterpillar to me, and with all those overhead windows. I wonder about the solar gain on the house on a sunny day. But the poetic description sounds good.

  • su_tju

    please do something better in China

  • Escuse me but what can one see on this pictures? This is not a restaurant. A restaurant is a place furnished with tables, chairs, kitchen… and receiving people, those who work and those who come to eat. The photos show a building without function induced.

    • Furter

      There were tables in the first picture through windows, not to mention the floor plan. Close your eyes, imagine. C'mon, you can do it!

  • taw

    the photo number 5 is spectacular! once in a life time I need to experience this dramatic situation… & it is clear that we can still see the scenery.

  • cjp

    LOL at the table layout.

    • Julie G

      Yeah, looks cozy doesn’t it? :-) About as inviting as a museum cafeteria with 400 kids running between the tables.