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Designed by architecture office Quarta & Armando (Q&A), Brazilian bar Barraco uses reclaimed materials, doors and windows from demolished buildings in Shanghai and as-found objects to stage the informal, messy and colorful atmosphere of tropical cities. The neutral tones of bare concrete, wood and white gravel on the floor and walls serve as a background for the controlled chaos of plants, lights and hanging swings on the ceiling, which projects itself from inside to outside and towards the street.

Q&A brought informality within the construction process itself by designing an irregularly sloped structural grid and deciding on site how to arrange and install each single hanging panel, door and window one by one, after carefully selecting them from demolished buildings around Shanghai. During closing time, the last segment of ceiling towards the street can be closed by sliding on the lateral steel frames and become a solid wooden background for the colored concrete-cast logo by the entrance.

The double nature of materials and textures reflects a double nature of use: the more quiet, dimly lit indoor bar sets provides a quiet retreat for an afternoon coffee, while the outdoor bar with projecting canopy becomes a part of Shanghai’s active streets at night. Seating areas are organized according to the same principle, with a set of moveable low stools and beach chairs outside being the only furniture besides the hanging wooden swings surrounding the bar, matched indoor by a set of comfortable armchairs and high-stools, surrounding a hanging table/door which can be operated and pulled towards the ceiling to provide more space during a bigger party or event.

Architects: Q&A – Quarta & Armando
Lead Architects: Gianmaria Quarta, Michele Armando, Tao Gu
Photographs: Dirk Weiblen

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