|Neobio Kids Restaurant
|Restaurants, Design, Furniture Design, Interior Design
|Design Director: LI Xiang / Design Team: REN Lijiao, LIU Huan, Justin, FAN Chen
The designers of Neobio Kids Restaurant in Shanghai, China, say that the inspiration for this location was "a colorful hot air balloon rising up from an ancient castle." That image must have been plucked straight from a child's dream-land because the 500 m² of Neobio - which was completed in July of 2017 - seem to have taken every evocative detail into consideration.
Design Director, LI Xiang, alongside her team at design company, X+Living, have created an enchanting world for both children and their parents; a spot that suits both their needs, catering to the children's happy imaginations as well as to their parent’s desires for a safe way for their kids to achieve their playtime goals… and enjoy a grownups visit on the side. The end result is akin to a carefree mix of a grown-ups’ tea room and a child's life-size dollhouse.
There are no hard surfaces or colors to be seen in this "magical" décor theme and there is a sense of softness and calm running throughout. Pastel pinks, blues, yellows and greens are offset by a light gray and white chevron patterned floor, as well as white-painted, decorative cutout details. These two dimensional details are representative of the "ancient castle" of the original restaurant inspiration, think fairytale-like parapets and towers, arched doorways and cornices.
Meanwhile, the "colorful hot air balloon" representation is a lot more literal, with colorfully patterned "balloons" interspersed in the space, like canopies over various kinds of "pools." These pools are each filled with an array of play materials - such as bubbles, sand or toys - and are connected to each other from a winding network of transparent acrylic crawlways and tunnels, suspended at different heights around the room.
And where are the parents while the kids are off exploring? Why, keeping an eye on them from the gilded benches and plush chairs surrounding the tables which are nestled among the playing pools. While the kids enjoy pretending to be knights and princesses in their colorful towers (or wherever else their imaginations lead) their parents can enjoy a coffee and a colorful pastry (or whatever else they request off the menu).
All of these elements conspire for the real-life existence of a "magical" land derived straight from a child's daydream and definitely encourages young imaginations, while also encouraging a relaxing respite for their parents.