Photographer : Matteo Carcelli, Becky Tsang
CI Design : CoDesign
In ancient Rome, emperors would ship colourful marbles from nations they conquered to the city, and use them to build palaces and monuments. Across time, kings and queens used their military prowess, money, and wit to secure precious materials to create architectures that exceed their legacies.
In designing modern architecture, we do not have the same luxury of acquiring valuable materials, but that does not mean we could not be creative and build something beautiful out of ordinary and easy-to-access materials.
Think of your favourite dishes: for most of us, it would be dishes cooked by our families — freshly baked from the kitchen and put onto our dinner tables. Although our families use simple ingredients that they could find in the neighbourhood market – and ingredients that other families would also use, no chef could make the same dish that tastes the same. Their different ways of treating ingredients, cooking food, and altering the strength of fire give each meal a unique flavour.
Our combination of marble tabletops, wooden legs, and reflective stainless steel chairs juxtaposes materials of hardness and softness, matte and shiny, nature, and man-made.
In designing SILVER ROOM, we followed the same principle. We used elementary and common materials — wood, marble, plastic for the interior design. But we treated them in uncommon ways that made the restaurant special. Our free-standing sculptures emulate tree branches, assembled by steel rods.
Our ceiling and walls are made of semi-translucent, frosted plastics, cladding concrete partitions. At daytime, the sunlight hits the semi-translucent interior; the restaurant is transformed into an airy, tranquil, open space. Industrial materials communicate with nature; light is the protagonist.
At night time, recessed lights on the ground hit the interior; the restaurant is transformed into a mysterious, poetic, intimate room. Industrial materials communicate with light; shadows are the protagonist.
We breathe in new meanings to material through manoeuvring their properties, just like how chefs treat unique ingredients with creativity, how artists build worlds with fresh paint, how musicians realise their limitless potential through carefully arranging melodies. SILVER ROOM is a work of creativity, where common materials are given new lives through our uncommon treatment.