The project is a contemporary dim sum restaurant in Hong Kong. The story behind this initiative from renowned Hong Kong-based restaurant group, Maximal Concepts, is drawn from historical figure John Anthony, the first Chinese man to be naturalized as a British citizen in 1805. John Anthony, an employee of the East India Company, embarked on the voyage from the East to West arriving in Limehouse, the London docklands.
Linehouse drew on John Anthony’s journey, exploring the fusion of architecture and materiality between East and West, colonial architecture blurred with eastern detailing, to create a British tea hall turned Chinese canteen.
The main dining hall in the restaurant is an interpretation of the storehouses in the docklands. The vaulted space plays on verticality, lightness and a sense of whimsy with circular canopy columns in a pink lacquer and white metal arches surrounded by terracotta render. The high-level arches are back lit with diffused glass, allowing for shifting light qualities throughout the day and night. This arched structure hovers above the bar displaying an expansive gin collection. The restaurant boasts a collection of over 450 bottles of gin from around the world, the second largest in Asia. Maximal Concepts worked closely with the designers to achieve a display solution that could attractively and prominently showcase the bottles.
The private dining rooms are lined in hand-painted tiles featuring large scale illustrations of commodities traded between the British and Chinese in the 18th century such as medicinal poppies and exotic animals. Reclaimed terracotta tiles pave the main dining hall, sourced from abandoned houses in rural China.
At the heart of the venue is Maximal Concepts’ sustainable message. From upcycling wasted plastic and paper into coasters and menus, to tiling floors with reclaimed terracotta and using sustainable rattan, every element incorporates an eco-friendly initiative.