Architectural firm Studio8 has designed a new restaurant and cocktail bar located in a heritage building in Fengsheng Li, Shanghai.
The firm was commissioned to design the visual identity, architectural reuse, interior, landscape and soft decoration for the project.
Charcohol, specialising in charcoal-grilled global cuisine and craft cocktails, is inspired by forest and fire following an original concept by chef Mandela Zhu. The firm embarked on creating a space that reflects the chef’s vision, inspired by the transformative nature of charcoal and its role in food creation.
The design is unveiled to “unfold around an axis of time, crossed by an axis of temperature”. From south to north, stretching across the main entrance, three dining halls conceptualise the transformation of wood to charcoal and finally to ash. The notion of the dining concept is summed up in the small portico at the entrance, where a half-burnt wooden column hangs from the ceiling and ends in a lava stone block on the floor, welcoming guests.
Considering that the restaurant occupies a historic house in the centre of Shanghai, the renovation demands a respectful attitude towards the architectural heritage. Special details were developed to connect the new facade elements and the old structure. The newly added steel and glass structure is completely detached from the original building, and a system of special wall washer lighting highlights the beauty of the architecture, giving it the quality of a museum.
In line with the concept, each dining hall obtains its own particular ambience from partially custom-made furniture, lighting and installation.