This is a 54 person moving restaurant. It has a full-size kitchen, bar, lounge, and two-person and four-person dining arrangements. Our inspiration comes from if the exquisite Taiwan culinary delights can move with the beauty of Taiwanese scenery, how exciting would this be.
It’s Not a New Train – Thinking About Sustainability.
After 2 years of planning and discussion with the Taiwan Railway Administration (the main government body that controls the train network in Taiwan) about this idea, we formed an amazing team composed of designers, chefs, restaurant operations, and a construction team. We went back and forth regarding the type of kitchen equipment we can bring on the train, the restaurant operating structure, train weight, and total electricity consumption. The final challenge is that we did not purchase this as a new train from a foreign country, but we decided to use a 70-year-old semi-retired train, salvage from retirement, to design today’s “The Moving Kitchen.”
We found the route of this train is actually fascinating and is uniquely Taiwan as it travels around the banana-shaped island. The same side will always face the mountain, and the same side will always face the sea no matter which direction it travels, and it gave us our concept.
The Asymmetrical Ceiling.
Can we enhance the dining experience by bringing our guests closer to nature? We work with the local team to design the entire train essential system composed of lighting, speakers, and air/con. We pushed the system to one side, doubling as the pathway guide. By using the contrasting materiality of black and wood, we carefully enhance the oceanside view while enhancing the nature side of the mountain with the wood pattern ceiling. With the same move, we were able to define the seating position for two and four people, as well as the lounge areas.
A New Confidence for the Government Body.
Taiwan Railway Administration, as a government entity, has always been more on the safety and conservative side. After facing a PR disaster and public criticism in 2019 February for trying to design its own flagship of luxury tourism train, it forced the 132 years old corporation a hard look at itself. The Moving Kitchen helps to state that safety and design can be hand in hand. That government can also make new policies that lead to new business opportunities.