Design Field Notes

Design Field Notes

Design Field Notes

Places & Faces

Buona Bocca, Beijing

Mirroring Italian food, Beijing’s newest wine bar Buona Bocca is full of colour and vibrancy. A lively establishment seen through by Beijing-based design firm Studio Ramoprimo, Buona Bocca is a fun amalgamation of traditional and contemporary, with subtle clever references to both the Italian and Chinese cultures.

A bold decorative brick patterned wall is the first thing that catches your eye when you visit this wine bar. These bricks were sourced from the old Hutong districts, which are neighbourhoods filled with narrow streets and traditional courtyard housing. Each brick was sliced and painted white, then enhanced with bright orange, turquoise, and grey to add a contemporary spin. In fact, this brickwork is the main element connecting China with Italy: Beijing’s construction relies heavily on this building material, and in Italy they’re used to represent (or brand) wine bars and cellars.

The references don’t just stop there: smiling lips motifs adorn the walls, signifying the bar’s name Buona Bocca – translating to “good mouth” in Italian – which the clients requested would have a slight erotic tone. A bright canary yellow resin floor flows throughout the establishment, used by the Chinese to symbolise love, romance, and passion. Delicate geometric light fixtures hover above the centre of the space, representing the lights erected along main roads during festivals in Italy’s south.

Fabric-upholstered bench seats in greys and blacks line the walls, paired with matching dining chairs and warm reclaimed timber tables. Black and concrete-rendered walls frame the colourful floor perfectly, allowing for the colour to stand out even more. These colours spill out to the bar’s exterior, providing an interesting bold first impression to catch passers-by in the busy streets of Beijing.

Anthony Spon-Smith

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