Bar Lotus

Designed by: Tim Kwan / Office AIO
For client: Bar Lotus Floor area: 135.00 M² Year of completion: 2018
Submitted for: Bar of the Year

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© Yuije Liu

The central nave finds formality and interest through rhythmic obscurity of colonnades, encouraging multitude of social opportunities through change in scale and pauses.

About the Project

In the sycamore tree-lined neighbourhood of JingAn, 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.

What’s unique about it

Described as "shrine-like" by its customers, Bar Lotus Shanghai sets an elegant example of a successful design approach for a space that live two lives, a daytime café and an evening cocktail bar. The commercial conundrum of how to house two time-specific functions in one space? is solved by a spatial layout that is sensitive to its site conditions, and conscious of usage hierarchy presented in a refreshing labyrinth-like journey.

Beyond the layers of spatial arrangement that aims to support a multitude of social interactions, Office AIO was able to define an immersive sense of place through sculpted forms, minimal but exquisite bespoke details and fittings, limited but alluring material palette along with orchestrated lighting design. Bar Lotus has become the go-to venue for renowned labels and creatives who further experiment with the space for special events.

Office AIO established enduring values for Bar Lotus and created spatial experience that offers beyond an instant digitally marketable moment, by steering design focus back to one of physical presence. The design puts strong emphasis on space itself, translating architectural values such as journey, transitions, scale, symmetry, hierarchy and simplicity along with products and social engagement to be understood as one experience.

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© Yuije Liu

After stepping unto floating planes of silver travertine, reveals the first half of the dramatic gallery serving the day time cafe.

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© Yuije Liu

Light, texture, form and detail : A bespoke small pendulous lantern conjures the prelude to an enticing journey.

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© Yuije Liu

The cosy seating area for the daytime café doubles as a secluded space during night, offering room for private events and seating variation to the cocktail bar.

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© Yujie Liu

As evening approach, mirrored sliders reveal a space otherwise rendered non-exisitent during day.

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© Yujie Liu

A glimps of the cocktail bar from main seating area : Transparency, reflections, colours and light, celebrates the showmanship of bartenders at night.

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© Yujie Liu

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.

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© Yujie Liu

Alluring choice of materials, textures and colours, elegantly plays with form, detail and light, portraying surreal moments throughout.

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© Yujie Liu

Presented as a contrasting understatement to the rest of the commercial frontages along the 100m long development, the compositional façade is animated by shadows of a sycamore tree.

Plan

Spatial Layout

Location of project:
Credits:
Office AIO

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