Aumann: Spatial Aesthetics Rooted in Japanese Culture

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Project Information

Project Name: AumannJapanese cuisine
Project Location: 1st Floor, BuildingB, IFC International Financial Center, Jianguomen Outer Main St. Beijing, China
Project Area: 292?
Design Time: 2022.07
Completion Time: 2023.05
Design Company: FUNUN LAB (
Chief Designer: Fan Jie
Design Team: Du Xiaobo, Guan Qijia, Wang Nong
Lighting Design: Uniimport
Construction Company: Huazhuang Brothers (Beijing) Decoration Engineering Co., LTD
Photography: ICYCYWORKS

In the heart of culinary excellence, where taste and ambiance converge into an art form, Aumann, famed for its grilled Eel rice, offers an unforgettable dining experience. Nestled in the capital, Aumann’s culinary journey is a testament to precision, tradition, and the marriage of flavor with aesthetics. Under the guidance of Itoh Ch?, a master of grilled crab, Aumann has mastered the traditional Kansai grilling technique, emphasizing the paramount importance of fresh ingredients and the meticulous interpretation of flavors. However, it’s not just about what’s on the plate; it’s about crafting a “context” where patrons can immerse themselves in the heart of local culture.

Exploring the Roots

Aumann‘s journey leads us back to Kyoto, the epicenter of Kansai culture. Drawing inspiration from Kyoto’s shrines, temples, gardens, and paintings that span over a millennium, the designer has ingeniously woven cultural elements into the very fabric of the restaurant. The result is a space that seamlessly fuses food and culture, harmonizing spatial structure, materials, and scenes.

Creating a Scenic Context

In pursuit of a true culinary and cultural immersion, Aumann draws from the Japanese architectural concept of “Teioku ichinyo.” This concept reorients the relationship between the courtyard and the building, placing the diners’ interaction with the environment at the forefront. Stepping into the lobby, patrons are greeted by a breathtaking golden installation hanging from the ceiling, reminiscent of Kinkaku-ji. This installation, created using Kyoto’s traditional gold forging technique, exudes contemporary elegance, offering a serene and ethereal ambiance.

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The Physical Context

The layout of Aumann is a homage to Kyoto’s intricate alleyways. It connects various dining scenes, seamlessly transitioning from open spaces to intimate corners. The careful management of walkway widths allows for solitary reflection or cozy togetherness, embodying the enigmatic and profound beauty of “y?gen.”

Mental Context

Aumann’s spatial design does not merely replicate traditional Japanese residential architecture. Instead, it simplifies and conveys the essence of Japanese aesthetics through a modern lens. The entrance, adorned with an array-style design and vertical wooden lattice, exemplifies this approach. The whimsical sculptures scattered throughout the restaurant, like the stack of Daruma dolls at the corridor’s end, infuse a playful spirit, lightening the atmosphere.

Custom-made sculptures in the private dining rooms, featuring cats frolicking in Kansai’s rural fields, add a touch of childlike charm and nostalgia. Various elements related to “paper” infuse vitality into the facades. Original wallpapers inspired by traditional Japanese patterns grace the lobby, while translucent DuPont paper, combined with foreground plants, exudes an elegance akin to ink scroll paintings.

Embracing Monoaware

Aumann embodies the core Japanese concept of “monoaware,” inviting guests to keenly observe and emotionally connect with their surroundings. As time unfolds, patrons will discover the true essence of both the space and the cuisine. Aumann’s design encapsulates this philosophy, delivering an experience that transcends the mundane and reaches the heart of Japanese culture and aesthetics.

In summary, Aumann is not just a restaurant; it’s an immersive journey through Japanese culture, where culinary art and spatial aesthetics entwine, creating a harmonious and unforgettable experience that resonates with the essence of “monoaware.”

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