dim sum restaurant in hong kong by linehouse turns british tea hall into chinese canteen

named after the first chinese man to be naturalized as a british citizen in 1805, ‘john anthony’ is a contemporary dim sum restaurant located in hong kong, drawing from the story of the historical figure. in london, jogn anthony’s job was to provide accommodation and food for arriving chinese sailors — he became the father of limehouse’s chinatown. through the design, architectural studio linehouse tells about the man’s journey, exploring the fusion of architectural styles and materiality between east and west and colonial architecture blurred with eastern detailing, to create a british tea hall turned into chinese canteen.

dim sum restaurant in hong kong by linehouse turns british tea hall into chinese canteen designboom
the welcome desk
all photos by jonathon leijonhufvud

 

 

linehouse explored the materials john anthony would have encountered on his journey: hand-glazed tiles, natural and racked renders, terracotta, hand dyed fabrics and hand woven wickers. arriving guests are transported down a vertical staircase of white metal and backlit diffused glass. the entrance captures a glimpse of what is to come: terracotta render walls with a triple height arched ceiling clad in pink tiles, and a lime green terrazzo floor. infinite reflections of the arches are captured in the high-level mirrors.

dim sum restaurant in hong kong by linehouse turns british tea hall into chinese canteen designboom
arriving guests are transported down a staircase of white metal and backlit diffused glass

 

 

the main dining hall in linehouse’s restaurant is an interpretation of the storehouses in the docklands. the modern vaulted space plays on verticality, lightness and has a sense of whimsy with circular canopy columns in a dusty pink lacquer and white metal arches surrounded by terracotta render. the architects play on the retro nostalgia of the chinese canteen, fusing it with colonial detailing captured in the elements of the timber bar with glass vitrines, wicker leaners and furniture, and gold and maroon floral fabrics. a collection of infused gin tubes hangs vertically above the bar, infused with blends of plants found along the spice routes. a white metal structure hangs from the render ceiling reminiscent of an industrial storehouse, suspending custom timber tube lights, while bespoke hammered copper lights line the walls.


a whimsical reception is set in front of a gold tropical wallpaper, the fan-shaped pink lacquer counter is framed by a double arch, lined with batten lights

 

 

beyond the dining hall, a series of arched spaces allow for more intimate dining. the arches are clad in handmade tiles in green and blue, framing views of the kitchen and the spaces beyond. these spaces can be screened for privacy from the main hall by turquoise curtains. 


the main dining hall is an interpretation of the dockland storehouses

 

dim sum restaurant in hong kong by linehouse turns british tea hall into chinese canteen designboom
the retro nostalgia of the chinese canteen is fused with colonial detailed captured in details of the booth seating, wicker screening and floral fabrics

 


a collection of infused gin tubes hang vertically above the bar, infused with blends of botanicals found along the spice routes

 

dim sum restaurant in hong kong by linehouse turns british tea hall into chinese canteen designboom
beyond the main hall, a series of arched spaces allow for more intimate dining

 


the arches are clad in handmade tiles in green and blue

 


an intimate room behind the bar welcomes guests to seat on floral booth seats, allowing glimpses of the bartenders beyond

 

dim sum restaurant in hong kong by linehouse turns british tea hall into chinese canteen designboom
private dining rooms are lined in hand-painted tiles featuring illustrations of exotic plants and animals traded between east and west

 


the bathrooms are lined with a custom graphic based on the spice trade

 

dim sum restaurant in hong kong by linehouse turns british tea hall into chinese canteen designboom
detail of the backlit clerestory light and the lacquered columns

 

project info:

 

architects: linehouse

location: shop b01-10, basement one, lee garden three, 1 sunning rd, causeway bay, hong kong

year of completion: 2018

client: maximal concepts

area: 700 sqm

photography: jonathon leijonhufvud

 

designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

 

edited by: maria erman | designboom