The Kungfu Froggy is the leading brand of bullfrog dining in the catering industry. Its restaurant culture is based on the intellectual property of “Kungfu Hero”, so the brand has a unique and consistent visual identity. As the times go and consumer habits change, the Kungfu Froggy is exploring new possibilities in its IP of “Kungfu Hero”.
The first Kungfu Foggy restaurant opened in Hangyang International City, Nanning and it is of great significance to the brand. It is the first stop to upgrade it into a restaurant brand with culture. The brand decided to go back to where it began and renew the image of the monumental first restaurant.
Haptic Visuality of the Kungfu Hero
What’s the Kungfu Hero?
Different people have different imaginations and understandings about Kungfu Heroes, who may appear in scenes like the Jianghu (the circle of martial arts), mountains, bamboo forests, vagabonds’ inns, etc. There are also character impressions of them being forthright, cool, ethereal and so on, or even sound associations such as the flutes, water drops, insects, etc. “Kungfu Hero” represents a spirit, rather than a figurative form. The focus of this project is to transform the abstract spirit of “Kungfu Hero” into a perceivable and figurative form and spatial experience.
“Haptic visuality” is a cinematographic technique – grainy, blurred, or even pleasant images that stimulate the viewer’s memories of the senses. For example, when seeing water, we recall several senses with water and it results in the haptic visuality. Inspired by this approach, MOC attempts to convert the concept of “Kungfu Hero” into a tangible scene.
▲电影《一代宗师》雨中打斗场景 The rainy fight scene in the movie of The Grandmaster
In martial arts movies, a great number of classic scenes take place in the rain. MOC wants to design the space based on the concept of “Wulin (the Martial Arts World) in the Rain”, so a scene in the rain would bring in the “haptic visuality” to deeply connect the brand story of Kungfu Froggy and the spirit of Kungfu hero.
The rain scene at the entrance of the restaurant is designed with real rain and linear lighting. Interspersed with translucent glass tiles, it forms a painting in the rain, putting on the show of “Wulin in the Rain” right at the entrance.
▲水景装置细节 Details of the rain installation
Steel ropes and lights are used in the dining area to create a dining scene in the rain, which is a great experience for users without the water splash.
The brand IP mascots can be placed in the cube wall that reflects the IP image and brand colors. The array arrangement forms a clearly overwhelming impression and conveys the core IP image of the brand.
The image of Kungfu Froggy is also customized in-depth. The chrome mirror effect is overall modern. The gesture of holding an umbrella in the hand and landing on the water effortlessly deepens the association with the rain scene and the martial warrior.
The signature figure holding an umbrella was suggested by MOC. He is using a common umbrella rather than a weapon, which is intended to express the connotation of “Kungfu Hero” – to “protect”, rather than to “attack”.
The Core of “Kungfu Hero”
“I have power, but I cover half of it with my hand.” This is an interpretation of the fist and palm salute, where the right fist expresses strength, while the left palm covers the right fist to show restraint and courage. This is also the core that MOC wants to express in the space about “Kungfu Hero” – having strength but with restraint, respecting others and protecting the weak.
There are several dynamic umbrella installations in the restaurant, which suits the theme of “Wulin in the Rain”. The umbrellas are objects used by ordinary people when it rains. As for the protectors like “Kungfu Hero”, they don’t always carry the umbrella. They are no different from ordinary people. But when they need to protect others, the umbrella at their fingertips can be transformed into a weapon. Moreover, the “umbrella” itself has the function that deepens the meaning of “protection”.
The dynamic umbrella installation at the entrance becomes the visual focal point of the space with the reverse rotation of the canopy and frame. The installation is also visible at the entrance, giving people the desire to go in and explore.
▲入口处可看到旋转的雨伞装置，前方通过钢丝和灯光形成“雨丝” The rotating umbrella is visible at the entrance. The steel wires and lights in the front simulate the “rain of silk”
Expression of Theme and Scene
In terms of spatial structure, MOC naturally creates a spatial relationship between the inside and outside of the restaurant through the indoor eaves.
The umbrella frame made of wood constructs the form and structure of the eaves, which creates a unique outdoor experience in the interior. The lantern-shaped ceiling lamp under the eaves further emphasizes the feeling of sheltering from the rain.
▲屋檐划分了空间 The eaves divide the space
▲源自传统伞架的屋檐结构 The eave structure derived from the traditional umbrella structure
▲玻璃与钢绳制作的“雨丝” “Rain of silk” made of glass and steel wires
▲灯具结构细节 Details of the lamp structure
On the other side of the space, the eaves are placed opposite to each other. Between them, five large umbrella installations are mounted on the ceiling and turning slowly in different directions, which makes an interesting visual experience in the restaurant.
▲可旋转的雨伞装置 The rotating umbrella installation
▲屋檐与中间旋转的雨伞装置 Eaves and the rotating umbrella installation in the middle
▲雨伞装置细节 Details of the umbrella installation
▲屋檐下的用餐场景 Dining under the eaves
▲从通道看下屋檐下的用餐区 Dining area under the eaves as seen from the passage
The umbrella element is not only reflected in the dynamic installation. After deconstructing the umbrella, the umbrella frame extends to the eaves and props in the space.
▲屋檐与雨伞装置的关系 The relationship between the eaves and the umbrella installation.
▲吊灯挂件构造细节 Construction details of the lamp pendant.
Combining the overall spatial concept and structural shape, MOC customizes a series of unique furniture and props for the restaurant image. They not only enrich the layers of the space, but also allow to introduce the space story and brand culture.
▲屋檐和灯笼的细节设计 Details of the eaves and lanterns
▲屋檐的结构与定制家具源自同样的设计语言 The structure of the eaves is derived from the same design language as the custom-made furniture
▲家具结构细节 Structure details of furniture
MOC uses custom-made fabric to separate the seating. Its image has combined with the brand IP and visually expresses the culture of “Kungfu Hero”.
The partition of the space is designed with large stainless-steel squares and brand colors. Each square has a bulging semi-sphere. This design element comes from the armor for combatting, which responds to the spirit of “guardianship”.
▲隔断设计来源于作战时的护具甲胄，回应“守护”的精神内核 The design element comes from the armor for combatting, which responds to the spirit of “guardianship”
MOC also makes a custom flooring product for this project. To integrate with the structural relationship of the space, tiles are generally used in the non-roof area to give the feeling of the outdoor garden. The tiles are covered with the transparent epoxy resin, which have a slightly reflective texture. It solves the cleaning problem of tile gaps while it also makes the whole space more like an outdoor rain scape.
▲入口的装置处的瓦片砖以圆心发散排布，与立面旋转的雨伞装置互相呼应，中间花岗岩雕刻的抱拳手势也回应了空间的侠之主旨 The tiles at the entrance are arranged in a circular shape, echoing the rotating umbrella on the fa?ade. And the fist-clutching gesture carved in the middle granite also echoes the main theme of Kungfu Hero
Where There are People, There is the Jianghu
Jianghu is not a community of martial artists only about fighting and killing, but about human feelings and worldly affairs. The hot smoke and fire are very important for restaurants – the brand has extensively used red in the space, bringing a warm atmosphere.
The site has windows facing the outside where there are the escalators of the mall. To reduce the impact of the outsiders on the diners, MOC closes the window with Moru glass, and its stripe pattern fits the concept of rainscape. The polarizing effect of the glass allows the outdoor light to change dynamically as time passes, bringing a completely different vibe to the restaurant.
Project Name：The Kungfu Froggy, Hangyang International City, Nanning, Guangxi
Chief Designers：Zhenyu Yang, Sam Liang, Vivi Wu
Design Team：Hu Qiao, Gu Songyu
Client Team：Chi Kun, Pu Henguang, Wei Juhui
Design Phase：January – April 2021
Location：4F Hangyang International City, Minzu Avenue, Nanning, Guangxi
Materials：Custom epoxy resin tile, Vaucluse tile, fiber cement board, wood veneer, wood grain film, sandblasted stainless steel
Installation Production：Artfuse Studio
Client：The Kungfu Froggy