Mimicking the shape of Chinese mountains, Spacemen Studio has used 35,000 meters of gold chain in three different shades to ‘elevate’ the ceiling of this tea bar and restaurant in Shanghai, China.
Situated in a refurbished mid-19th century colonial heritage building, Icha Chateau contrasts its historic exterior with an interior spatial topography influenced by nature and the country’s iconic tea hills.
The undulating, sculptural planes form various nooks and niches for patrons with a need of privacy, while their soft nature invites them to touch and feel them. The shanghai-based architects have strategically placed a grey mirror behind the sofa, which enhances the narrow site and reflects the gold cloud, creating a sense of dining under a forest.
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The sculptural piece is used to mask a structural column, turning it into the focal point where all chains are anchored, while its various levels and hues also conceal the store’s technical equipment, including lighting, spekears, and cameras. Grey terrazzo, matte black stained timber and grey upholstery fabrics compose a muted material palette that provides a sleek background for the gold structure above.
The dreamlike interior of the dining area contrasts the historic exterior of the tea house, which has been left mostly in tact due to preservation guidelines. A brass cage integrated into the entry foyer predisposes visitors for what is to follow on the inside, while brass arches and window frames have been inserted around the façades of the building to form more indoor spaces from the exterior corridors.
All photos by Min Chen Xuan
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