Once a narrow, "shoebox-shaped" shopping center storefront, the so-called Happy Panda restaurant in Cumbaya, Ecuador recently got a major makeover at the hands of the Ecuador-based firm Hou de Sousa. Intent on making the space feel warm, inviting and about as far from the average strip mall restaurant as possible, the design team came up with a new layout to break up the long, 2,152-square-foot space by placing both the bar and an obscured, raised kitchen area in the middle of the room, with seating on either side.
In order to channel an ancient Chinese temple vibe, the design team brought in a local billboard company to create blown-out, massive prints of Chinese scroll paintings for the walls, as well as a team of artists to laser-cut intricate, scalloped privacy screens. Perhaps most distinctive of all, though, is the tent-style ceiling, which uses undulating, suspended pieces of plywood to model swooping, imperial roofs. Do head over to Contemporist for the full gallery.