SAY Architects were briefed to create Hutong, a 300-cover fine dining restaurant on level 33 of The Shard, in collaboration with David Yeo of Aqua Restaurant Group. Our brief was to draw inspiration from the restaurant of the same name in Hong Kong and to open up Eastern experience to the West.
The concept of Hutong hinges on the narrow alleyways or ‘hutongs’ of Beijing, the fast-disappearing lanes which criss-crossed the city. The challenge was to bring an ancient aesthetic to London’s most contemporary iconic building.
Comprising two bars, two restaurant areas, circulation spaces, private dining areas and a triple height atrium space, the solution required an element of theatre and intimacy.
The layout wraps around the building, offering two wings of the restaurant and a bar area, separated by hand-carved dark wood lattice screens and panelling.