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Seeing the forest from the trees

Open-air hot pot restaurant sits in the middle of a eucalyptus forest

Trees are said to be an antidote to tech-related stress. If true, this restaurant in southwestern China takes full advantage of its surroundings to offer a forest-fueled respite.

Garden Hot Pot is the first hot pot restaurant in Chengdu to be built inside a eucalyptus forest alongside a natural, mist-covered lake. Chengdu is known for hot pot — a tabletop cooking method using broth, meat and vegetables.

With open sides and a unique geometric shape, Garden Hot Pot — designed by Chinese architecture firm MUDA-Architects — blends into the surrounding natural landscape seamlessly.

“On the premise of paying the greatest respect to the natural environment, MUDA decides to eliminate the architectural scale, leaving out walls, only using pillars and boards to lightly hide the building in the woods, letting the building gently integrate with the site and delineating the shape of lake in a light and peaceful way,” MUDA-Architects said in press materials.


The 5,900-square-foot restaurant consists almost entirely of the simplistic, curved dining room made out of low-cost building materials. Chefs prepare the raw hot pot ingredients in a small kitchen next to the dining area.

The first phase of the architectural project was completed in April and is now open to the public.

Contact Joanna Fantozzi at [email protected]

Follow her on Twitter: @JoannaFantozzi

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