Qinhuangdao, China – A few images spring to mind when hearing the words ‘children’s eatery’: visions of cartoon-character cutouts, primary colours, perhaps a carnivalesque atmosphere. For Aranya Kids Restaurant, however, Wutopia Lab opted for a more mature ambience.
Multicoloured rooms are no longer as attractive to children as we may think
‘Gimmicky and childish design doesn’t interest every kid,’ says Yu Ting, chief architect at Wutopia Lab. It was one child in particular that inspired Ting’s pared-back aesthetic in Qinhuangdao, China. When experiencing various hospitality environments with his daughter, the designer was surprised to discover her aversion to colourful, cartoonish spaces. ‘There are already too many naive designs made by adults. Multicoloured rooms are no longer as attractive to children as we may think.’
Ting’s daughter mentioned two key factors for engaging youngsters: spatial variation and a leitmotif. ‘Since they’re so curious about unfamiliar things, children enjoy exploring different spaces and following clues to unearth new experiences. Without an overwhelming palette to distract them, kids can be guided by the obvious colours in the scheme.’