In China‘s boom economy of the past few decades, showing one’s affluence and stature has become a norm of sorts, creating an unprecedented infrastructure of glitzy venues few other countries can match. In Hangzhou, one of the country’s most prosperous cities, the well-heeled have been catered to with plentiful places where to indulge in the good life, but there’s obviously always room for more. A recent arrival in town is a plush whisky bar with a palatial look and feel, and last but not least, a name that blatantly alludes to a clientele of young movers and shakers: Rich! Situated alongside a busy thoroughfare in Hengshaxu, a suburban neighbourhood on the south bank of the Qiantang river, it occupies 190 sqm. (2,045 sq.ft.) across two floors of a modern structure. The interior design, created by local practice PIG Design, unapologetically signals the highlife, and it starts right at the entrance. The pristine white façade sees a recessed lower half with an elegant arched doorway with red glass sliding doors and framed by copper-plated stainless steel. Two tiny portholes, situated on either side, are set in a protruding round frame of the same material. The upper half of the façade sees a large gold-trimmed porthole with matching red glass embedded in a moulded frame. Inside, the aesthetic morphs into opulent gear by way of celadon terrazzo covering the ceiling, floor, walls and some fixtures, and here and there trimmed with copper-plated stainless steel.
On the ground floor, a large bar anchors the setting, featuring backlit recessed shelving laden with bottles, decorative potholes and copper-clad doors on either side. Apart from the leather clad bar stools, seating comprises of matching booths and sofas, crafted from the same materials for a coherent look. Natural light which enters the space through a large pothole is replicated by a large decorative disk attached to the ceiling and supplemented by suspended lamps and two sizeable standing lamps on either side. A narrow staircase, captured entirely by celadon terrazzo and adorned by, yes indeed, more portholes and decorative wall-embedded lighting, leads to the Rich!‘s upper floor. Here, similar design codes can be seen, albeit captured by a different configuration. Upon entering, coming up from the stairs, guests are funnelled into a corridor with elongated windows on both sides. One side reveals a backlit screen, and the other allows an instant view of the decor and fellow guests. A curved bar drapes itself along the opposite wall, replete with a row of stools, and in between sits a matching chaise longue, paired with sofas and round tables. Near the large porthole, below a large decorative and reflective disk, interconnected booths and sofas are situated. The setting is flanked by a decorative wall clock on one side, while the other side sees a framed board which indicates all of Rich!‘s pricey whiskies on offer.
Designed by PIG Design
Images © PIG Design
Photography: Wang Fei, Shi Zheng and Qi Shuoqian
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