Raw (Restaurant) by Camiel Weijenberg
2014 - 2015, Platinum A' Interior Space and Exhibition Design Award Winner
The inspiration and research started well before we had the opportunity to work with Chef Andre in Taipei. We wanted to organize space and function without having distinctive divisions as one could find in a typical restaurant. The design challenge of creating a space without any obvious segregations and our company notion of "crafting the traditional" aligned with Andre's philosophy formed the main body of work we developed during the concept stage.
The restaurant design tells a parallel tale about RAW and how food can be experienced. It was important to create a space that served as a sanctuary from the hectic Taipei scene, evoked by the use of natural materials and soft finishing's. The unique feature of the design is the continuous natural wooden structure, which runs throughout the restaurant without obvious columns and structural elements holding it up. The structure is elegant and forward-looking and forms the centrepiece of RAW.
Design Challenges
The main challenge was the construction of the wooden structure. We had to find a contractor who was willing to take on a project with a high level of complexity along with having a digital knowhow and understanding of such a delicate structure. Also while dealing with a natural product, no straight lines were to be used in the construction of the piece that created extra challenges. Finally, we found a contractor in Southern Taiwan who had been dealing with complex geometries as a boat builder.
Production Technology
The main wooden structure was built in the South of Taiwan by a boat builders company familiar with complex geometries. The finish and the materials used were new to the contractor, which created several challenges. For example, we wanted the "path" of the machining to be visible in the wooden structure as if it were a digital fingerprint. Also, the use of several pieces of wood, pre-cut using computer-technology, to create the wooden structure created a very complex construction process.
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