WeWork Weihai Lu is nestled in a turn of the century brick building; a former opium factory and artist residence. This building is surrounded by an old residential district in the heart of Shanghai.
Linehouse celebrated the grandeur of the building, encapsulating the feeling of a grand hotel, transporting guests and members on an unexpected journey of whimsy, voyeurism and festivity. Upon arrival guests pass through an old laneway, framed by a traditional Chinese arch. The lane walls are painted pink and the floor pink concrete. Above, lights are festively suspended between the laneway walls.
The existing site is a combination of a brick historical building with further industrial additions that have been made over the years. The reception is located in this in-between zone of the old and new. Linehouse played with this narrative in the design. The reception counter is clad in heritage wood paneling, surrounded by a concrete base.
A bronze metal structure hangs lighting and creates leaners. Behind the reception, guests are greeted with a neon sign ‘Ring For Service’ contained in a cabinet of curiosities, painted in a light blue. The existing steel structure is painted ivy green, with a new black metal and black stained OSB handrail leaner wrapping the triple height space, allowing guests to be spectators to the activities below.
A green steel staircase weaves through the circulation space connecting all three levels of the front of house. This is clad in triangular pieces of oak wood, with one side painted in hues of blue. The colours alternate as you travel up the stair creating a gradient of tones, and shifting views from wood to blue. The staircase leads to the two pantry areas that play on the opium factory narrative, with large scale poppy wallpapers, hand painted in gold.
The central atrium is surrounded by the heritage façade. A curved terrazzo tray was inserted to define the space, pastel diagonal strips in blue, green, pink and grey wrap the floor and wall, creating a hardscape carpet. A bronze structure is suspended above the terrazzo perimeter wall, hanging mirrors, artwork, shelving and lighting. A bespoke lighting installation is suspended in the triple height space. Pink and grey cabling traverses the void threaded through circular bronze rings which hang custom glass shades.
Passing through the central atrium space to the back bar located within the heritage building, one is transported to a tropical retro oriental parlor. A gold gradient wallpaper wraps the perimeter wall, with hand painted Shanghai ladies, clothed in zebra attire and adorned in gangster bling, their era blurred between the 1920’s and the present day. A blue and pink neon in the shape of a fan frames the pantry area.
Custom wallpapers continue to play on this festive theme, with geometric and interweaving patterns in pastel tones, these are hand painted over in gold and green. The bathroom walls are lined with custom printed tiles in pink and green interconnecting lines and shapes. The ceiling is painted a dusty pink, and a mint green lacquer box contains the cubicles, custom bronze light fixtures and mirrors create a parlor-like vanity.
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