In the sycamore tree-lined neighbourhood of Jing’an, Shanghai, Bar Lotus finds itself at the end of a 100m-long F&B development. The site consists of two staggered rectangular volumes and was used as a service kitchen with no access to daylight.
Bar Lotus was conceived as an enclave within the busy context of Shanghai, a sanctuary wherein one could be inspired and unwind over coffees or cocktails dependent on time of day.
Presented as a contrasting understatement, the façade entertains 2 large apertures lifted by floating slabs of silver travertine, juxtaposed with a small pendulous lantern - conjures the prelude to an enticing journey through an arched gallery. The gallery is no mere passage but serves as the center of transition and dispersion to the rest of the spaces, through which people pause to interact and to discover.
Serving dual functions of a daytime café to an evening cocktail bar, the gallery sports a set of mirrored sliders modulating a circadian rhythm, curiously rendering an extended tunnel to a distant mirage during day. when night adorns, the sliders reveal an experience unique to the mesmerizing evening bar.
The heart of the experience takes form as a boundless U-shaped archway, a dramatic yet serene seating area, resembling an atmosphere found in rock-cut viharas. The internal walls of this space finds formality and interest through rhythmic obscurity of colonnades, encouraging multitude of social opportunities through change in scale and pauses.
Beyond the layers of spatial arrangement that aims to support a multitude of social interactions, the interior presents an immersive experience through architectural values such as journey, transitions, scale, symmetry, hierarchy, minimal but exquisite bespoke fittings and a limited but alluring material palette.
Credits: - OFFICE AIO - Project Architect - Isabelle Sun - Wen Studio - Photographer - Yujie Liu - OFFICE AIO - Lead Designer - Tim Kwan - JunHe Construction Co, Ltd. - Contractual Manager - Thomas Cho - OFFICE AIO - Assistant Designer - Clementine Dufaut - OFFICE AIO - Project Coordinator - Xue Zhao