“Gimmicky and childish design does not interest every child,” says Yu Ting, architect and founder of Wutopia Lab. His young daughter was never drawn to colorful, cartoonish spaces. That’s why Yu opted for muted colors and translucence in his design of Aranya Kid’s Restaurant, which opened in May 2018 in Qinhuangdao, China. Also known as Polycarbonate Neverland, Wutopia Lab created every part of the restaurant with a sense of make-believe in mind. The design team renovated part of a clubhouse—less than 1,000 square meters—to make a creative space for kids to eat, adventure, and let their imaginations run wild. Matte PVC piping encloses a circular dining hall and two private dining rooms surrounded by transparent panels form a translucent facade. The play area at Aranya is scattered with large bubbles made of PVC. The starry sky ceiling and magic mirror around the space add to the otherworldly aesthetic while circular, diffuse lighting and white tones create a whimsical feeling. But one of the restaurant’s most striking features is the red flying house on the roof. This brightly colored structure is made of double perforated aluminum panels. It makes the building distinctive and easy to spot, like a lighthouse in the distance.
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