No. 758 Julu Road, Jing'an, Shanghai, China
With Bar Lotus’s ambition to provide some of the best cocktails in town, the brief calls for a spatial design that would become part of an intergrated experience aimed to throughly express Bar Lotus’ values to it’s new customers. Client and the designer envisioned a space/brand that puts strong emphasis in an atmosphere that is original; celebrates its menu and happenings within; evoking sense of delight and surprise. Brief also calls for the bar to smoothly transition from daytime cafe to night time bar.
The site was previously used as a back of house kitchen, had no wall openings nor street appeal. The project consists of two staggered rectangular volumes with no access to daylight. The two distinct programmes call for clear spatial hierarchy, definition and composition of façade/entrance, ample space to accommodate large flux of crowds, seamless and controlled access transiting between different functional zones, as well as atmosphere of intimacy. The northern larger volume, is further configured into 2 sub-zones following a “U” shaped layout.
The notion of a U-shaped space defines a boundless open seating plan around a smaller central social space, one which maintains an immediate relationship with the cocktail bar across the gallery, and is intended for casual mingling without sitting down. Its permeable border also serves as a spatial “layer” adding depth and interest to both sub-zones. This spatial manipulation establishes a rhythmic circulation as one move through the spaces, and allow for different latitudes of pauses encouraging social opportunities.
“We find it only fitting for this “U” shaped space to take form in an edgeless, continuous arch, enhancing the sense of boundless-ness within, this then, inspires how the rest of the spaces are articulated.”
The façade is finished in concrete cement finish with square openings - A minimalist approach was adapted to calm the senses before embarking on the journey ahead, and also to better receive the playful shadows of the dense sycamore trees. Two floating slabs of Silver Grey Travertine steps mark the understated entrance while connecting the two large rectangular apertures.
The result is a unique and tasteful spatial experience for Bar Lotus to make its mark in Shanghai. In addition to providing a dramatic setting, much care was invested in curating a rich material palette, atmospheric lighting design, and bespoke detailing throughout. The finished project presents Bar Lotus to an all new audience with style, and received exceptional recognition in both local F&B rating platforms as well as various international design media attention.