Our overarching concept is a “street within a street”, where the patron can experience the hustle and bustle of a typical Asian inner-city scene. A walkway wraps around the site and we have used this existing circulation path to take the public on a journey through Old Shanghai. Drawing inspiration from the traditional Hutongs of the era we have introduced a grey brick façade punctuated with archways that offer glimpses into the tenancy, creating a sense of theatre and intrigue for passers-by. A footpath further defines this boundary giving us authenticity and an opportunity for branding and theming to the exterior of our precinct.
To further establish a “street within a street” vibe we have taken the decision to elevate the lower tier of the site to maintain a consistent floor level allowing people to navigate through the space as they would do in a normal laneway. The existing slab above is kept predominantly open with an abstract oriental pattern providing subtle interest in the ceiling plane. Walls and columns are adorned with faded posters and graffiti and a series of signage lanterns and bauble lights draw the eye through the long, narrow space. Furniture is eclectic; timber stools sit alongside beaten up school chairs while beer crates and bamboo steamers line the street helping to accurately present the chaotic world of Old Shanghai.