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Baoting County, Sanya, Hainan Province, China
Nature is how things are without human intervention. An inherent contradiction exists in the term “Creative Nature”. It is in this condition of contradiction that the Narada Restaurant project finds its challenge and meaning. To be “creative” necessarily requires human agency, so how can “nature” be “creative”? Does such notion of nature provide us with a tenable distinction to draw between that which is natural and that which is artificial? Based on this framing, the design objective was to explore the multiple strands of definition that characterize “Creative Nature” within the dichotomy of nature and artifact. From the inception of the work, it was recognized that the perception of nature is always, in one way or another, shaped by human contact, either physically manipulated or mentally appropriated.
The site is in the mountainous range of Qixian Mount in central Hainan. The project is in a small linear clearing in the tropical forest defined by dense greenery and large rocky boulders at the base of a cliff adjacent to a small ravine. The project brief was simply: the design and construction of a 1,000 m2 restaurant and teahouse. Two distinct approaches to the incorporation of landscape into the design were developed.
Nature as a three-dimensional construct: The floating glass restaurant – the dining experience is enveloped in live tree foliage.
Nature as a two-dimensional construct: The solid contained teahouse – a picturesque window, a landscape painting on the wall.