on the xihu lakeside of hangzhou, china, tsutsumi and associates has turned an old house into a japanese restaurant. spanning three storys, the new restaurant is planned on the second and third floor of the existing building. the design uses traditional japanese motifs and swathes of warm timber to create a calm and inviting atmosphere. 

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all images courtesy of tsutsumi and associates



the restaurant has a separate entrance on the second floor, which is designed with a low ceiling to welcome patrons inside. one of the key design tools adopted by tsutsumi and associates was to catch the eye by using intricate patterns. for the entrance wall, they disassembled the traditional asanoha pattern into two different geometric layers, one with a diamond pattern and the another with an equilateral triangle pattern. in this way, the shapes gradually shifts when viewed at different angles. shoe box panels were also carved using a traditional japanese technique called naguri, resulting in a beautiful shading effect.

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half of the second floor is reserved for private rooms, in which both sides of the partitions are clad in washi paper called taiko-bari. on the other half of the second floor, a dining hall can be found, which uses the double asanoha pattern on the back wall of the tables. in order to let light in while block the distracting views of outside,  windows are covered in bottom opened washi partitions called yukimi-shoji.

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VIP rooms with calm atmospheres are located on the third floor. to utilize all of the attic height, the design team extended a set of staggered shelves called chigai-dana up to the ceiling, and put indirect lighting on them. this technique references the kasumi-dana at shugakuin imperial villa in kyoto.

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project info:


project name: ryoutei matsuko

location: hangzhou, china

design: tsutsumi and associates


designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: lynne myers | designboom