Storeage Amsterdam, in close collaboration with French graffiti artist André Saraiva, has designed an outpost of the famous Parisian nightclub Le Baron in Shanghai. The 3,600 square meter club opened on Saturday the 25th of October. Le Baron Shanghai is located on the 7th floor of an office building in the former French concession, an area of old lane houses and an oasis of tranquility in bustling Shanghai. Inspiration for the project was the quintessential Parisian apartment, the sensuality of Shanghai and a desire to bring something new to Le Baron’s existing designs.
The defining element of Le Baron Shanghai is its carpet and wallpaper. When visiting the space the first time, André Saraiva, one of the club’s co-founders, was inspired to create a graffiti-style sketch on the back of a cocktail napkin. The Storeage Amsterdam team took this drawing – a racy mélange of eyes, dollar signs and female genetalia – and translated it into a pattern used on floor and wall coverings throughout the interior.
Leendert Tange, managing director at Storeage, said, “It was exciting to work with André to bring his graffiti drawing to life. His sketch has become the underlying theme for the entire space, and helps create an overall vibe that is part Montparnasse house party and part brothel, with a hint of sultry Shanghai. The pattern is also a truly unique feature that belongs to Le Baron Shanghai.”
The carpet was purposely designed using deep, dramatic colors like purple, red and black, creating a feeling of warmth and intimacy. The wallpaper, predominantly red with a black flock, adds a complimentary touch. Storeage coupled the graffiti design with a black and white Memphis-influenced pattern that brings a rock and roll edge.
Le Baron is hidden behind dramatic leather doors with rounded corners and a red velvet entranceway. From the entranceway Storeage created a long pink corridor leading up to a series of three diamond-shaped infinity mirrors. The mirrors are inspired by old time peep shows and stripper booths, and are part of Le Baron’s signature look worldwide.
According to Leendert Tange, the mirrors were another major focus for the design. “The mirrors bring in a level of sensuality, and by changing their shape to a diamond versus the traditional rectangular case, they become another one of the Shanghai club’s standout elements.” Dim, red bordello-style lighting dominates the atmosphere. Tables, chairs and corridors are intentionally designed in the tiny to small range, causing visitors lean in and touch, encouraging flirtation and intimacy.
Bars and tables have brass-rimmed marble tops, some featuring the black and white Memphis pattern. The high gloss black lacquer paint that is used throughout the space, along with purple velvet poufs and plush velvet couches, add an element of a dark and moody Shanghai cocktail den.