Interior Design for a Bar with a Story
Design for the reincarnation of the Dynasty Room bar in the International District’s iconic Four Seas restaurant.
In 2020, a staple of Seattle’s International District — the Four Seas restaurant and its bar, Dynasty Room — will be torn down to make way for new development. With its demise looming, and after nearly four decades of operation, the neighborhood institution closed its doors.
The Dynasty Room story would have ended there. But I-Miun Liu, an active community member and business owner, stepped in with a vision to give the space one final hurrah. Teaming up with us and Electric Coffin, he wanted to give the Dynasty Room back to the community for a little longer, with a bit of a new spin.
The design process was incremental and collaborative, with the design goal of maintaining the feel of the old bar, while also introducing a modern vibe. The pairing of the old and new is a physical reflection of the one element that can’t be ignored in this particular case (but that also can’t be easily visualized): time. That countdown until the building is replaced.
The reinvented bar is composed of a mixture of elements. Some pieces are original to the Four Seas, while others are new additions entirely. Together, it’s not always easy to tell which is which. Even the building’s structure plays a role: the posts and beams are painted red on one side, and remain in their old, dark wood tones on the other. The same room feels completely different, dependent entirely on your perspective.
That — along with the merged decorative pieces, furniture, finishes, materials, and art — create an environment that feels at once old and new, just like the International District outside its doors. Like the evolving neighborhood, the Dynasty Room is moving forward, but it also nods respectfully to the past. We hope you’ll pay it a visit before time runs out.
Notes & Credits
Photos by Austin Lane Day.
This project was built by Dynasty Room proprietor, I-Miun Liu.
Wolf Temple, gift shop kiosk, custom wallpaper, and other art and experiential installations by Electric Coffin.
Love the Dynasty Room? See another collaboration between Board & Vellum, I-Miun Liu, and Electric Coffin: Oasis Tea Zone Capitol Hill.
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