Located in Xintiandi, the 2 story building needs to serve two restaurants. Luckily both spaces have their own character. The ground level is bright and very accessible, a good spot for a new concept for shanghai: glasshouse. The top floor is intimate and spacious and will allocate an updated version of the well known Italian restaurant Vabene. So creating a white and bright downstairs and a dark and moody upstairs seemed the only way to go.
Italian dining can be a communal thing. We think of Italian weddings. They are inviting, a friends and family event. Creating this atmosphere with a big central table. This has the chance to unite the restaurant. It is the backbone and the key feature of the space. Exposing parts of the kitchen, creating a direct connection between guest and chef, the guests can see where their meal is coming from, completing the dining experience.
Wanting an intimate space, blacks and charcoal grey are the dominant tones with slight features of color to add some vibrancy. The materials and colors allow the food to take the center stage. Furniture, is in par with the space and concept using largely dark shades with hints of warm colors. The central table is designed to be flexible. Movable parts that either function as side tables or are to be replaced with table parts to add or rearrange people.