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Located in the Prestigious Portman Ritz Carlton Hotel in the heart of Jing’an, the clients created the restaurant philosophy on the emphasis of only using the best charcoal wood sourced from Bhutan to grill their meats thus the name ‘A Charcoal’.

Developing the facade on the same ideology of the chef’s cooking philosophies and emphasis on charcoal, the ancient Japanese technique of charring cedar wood to improve the durability called ’Shou Sugi ban’ was used to treat the burnt timber blocks used for the facade. Over 300 charcoal blocks which were individually torched by hand then were stacked to create the shed-like entrance portal. The timber handles of the main door were also made in the same charring process.

As guests enter through the darkened facade, they are immediately greeted by a warm glow from the timber screens that envelop the entire entrance foyer from wall to ceiling. The intricate web of wooden planks are connected through a joinery system loosely developed from the traditional Japanese toy called ‘Chidori’. This joinery system was also applied throughout the restaurant for furniture and light fixtures.

Designed to be an all private room dining experience, the restaurant consists of a variety of dining room sizes to accommodate every kind of guest combination ranging from rooms for 2 pax, 4 pax, 6 pax , 8 pax and up to 12 pax. Thus covering every kind of private dining requirements from couples dating to business banquets and family gatherings with a key emphasis on privacy. The layout of the restaurant and the usage of custom sliding timber screens that are up to 1.2m wide also allows for the all the rooms to be opened up for easier service and flexibility during peak lunch hours that do not require maximum privacy. These screens are designed to be integrated into the wall system and sits flush with the walls once opened fully.

For the larger private rooms, we designed the hanging light feature that doubles as the exhaust fan to resemble a floating ‘Chochin’ paper lantern that pays homage to those that are commonly found in front of traditional ‘Izakaya’ restaurants in Japan. Slate was used for the flooring and textured stucco paint was used throughout the restaurant.

Designed by Spacemen
Design Principal: Edward Tan,
Team: Raymond Tang, Jack Chen, Jason Liu
Photographer: Simon Liu



















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