Pearl Red Experience CentreJune 9, 2017
Pearl Red has been brewing Hakka huangjiu—a type of yellow Chinese rice wine—for more than 60 years. When brother and sister Yunlong and Shishi Zhang of the GDMZH Group took over the family business and winery, they wanted to create a more immersive guest experience on the site of the company’s new manufacturing plant to not only revitalize the brand but also attract a younger clientele.
To do so, the duo enlisted Australian-based design studio Hassell (and Arup for architecture) to craft a contemporary design rich in Chinese culture with an experiential approach for the visitor complex—which features an experience center, restaurant, bar, café, tasting room, lounge, and staff workplace. Set in the scenic Huangfengwo Tea Mountain in Xingning, China, “One of the most spectacular features of the site is the views out onto the rolling tea plantations and dramatic hills. The interiors take full advantage of this,” says Tom Herron, Hassell’s principal.
Weilong Wu (meaning “circled dragon house”) semicircular structures with expansive windows highlight the landscape, while the natural patterns and colors of the rice plantations and tea fields are echoed in the materials, which include concrete and natural wood. Wine barrels and urns are used as furniture and accessories to accentuate the traditional method of distilling baiju, a Chinese liquor, while a neutral palette inspired by ancient ceramics, timber carvings, and tapestries from the Meizhou prefecture complete the relaxed yet refined feel inside.