The Sanctuary of Moonlight

March 24, 2014
JZA+D redesigns a popular noodle spot at the Sands Macau to provide a refuge from the hustle and bustle of the casino floor.

Lunar and garden themes abound in the Moonlight Noodle House, located in the Sands Macau Casino and Resort and designed by Joshua Zinder Architecture+Design (JZA+D). The restaurant sits directly adjacent to the gaming floor and acts as something of a buffer for guests looking to relax and reboot.

“The transition to the restaurant was intended to give a pause, a break,” said Zinder. “The moon gates represent a break from an urban, active environment, offering a transition to a garden or rural environment that is a bit more relaxed.”

The Noodle House’s entry and windows, known as “moon gates,” consist of traditional circular openings found at the entrances of Chinese towns or gardens, and provide the desired separation while still maintaining a strong visual connection between the gaming floor and the restaurant. The windows have been screened with latticework and floor-to-ceiling, crescent-shaped rice paper light boxes. Other lighting fixtures include massive, moon-inspired circular pieces depicting the various phases of the lunar cycle, made from wood matching the dining room furniture. Underneath it all are stone paths, which meander through the restaurant and inspire a Zen tranquility.

The overarching red and gold color palette is associated with good fortune in Chinese culture. “The vibrant, deep red tile and the moon gates present a façade that stands out amongst the surroundings, while at the same time offering glimpses of the dining experience inside,” Zinder explained.

Those hues were carried right down to the last detail, with an image of a red and gold tea set found during the pre-design phase serving as a muse. The set had a unique finish, with a glaze covering only about 60 percent of the piece and an internal crazing that made it “that much more rich,” Zinder noted. Made of raw clay, it also sported a rich, earth-brown tone. The design team digitally recreated the finish for a series of decorative plate designs used as ornamentation throughout the restaurant.

“It was Chinese in form, slightly rustic in execution, and as a result had a distinctly modern feel,” Zinder remarked of the tea set. One could easily say the same of the Moonlight Noodle House itself.

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