Cloud Bistro

Cloud Bistro

Architect
Kokaistudios
Location
Shanghai, China | View Map
Project Year
2020
Category
Bars

Restaurants
Dirk Weiblen

Organic, Transparent, Flexible: Cloud Bistro Crowns Shanghai’s Fosun Foundation

Kokaistudios as Interior Designers

Drawing on the team’s global experience in designing legendary rooftop venues, in 2019 Kokaistudios was commissioned to build a bistro and bar on top of one of Shanghai’s most prestigious riverside landmarks. A standalone destination in its own right thanks to its spectacular city views, Cloud Bistro also supports the broader programming of host venue, such as brand conferences and fancy parties. In keeping with the architectural language of the existing building, designed by Thomas Heatherwick, the venue is an organic extension of what has fast become a Shanghai icon, and built with transparency and flexibility in mind. 

 

night aerial view
night aerial view

This project at Shanghai’s latest landmark development challenged Kokaistudios to design and install a flexible bistro, bar, and art shop atop Thomas Heatherwick's centrepiece building for Bund Finance Center. Cloud Bistro takes full advantage of the address’ prestigious location on the western bank of the city’s Huangpu River: housed inside a glass pavilion, it affords spectacular views across the city. Sensitive to the architecture’s existing aesthetic, the venue marks a near-seamless extension of Shanghai’s newest icon, bringing with it multiple possibilities for customization and events. 

9-communal table area-共享餐桌区.jpg
communal table area
10-window facade open view-幕墙开启景象.jpg
window facade open view
11-indoor-outdoor connection-室内外通畅的连接.jpg
indoor-outdoor connection
12-dialogue between outdoor terrace and indoor seats-室外平台与室内空间的对话.jpg
dialogue between outdoor terrace and indoor seats

Mindful of these factors, Kokaistudios’ approach is light in every sense, with transparency, openness, and adaptability underpinning all elements of the project. Housed inside a glass structure installed on top of the existing architecture’s fourth-floor rooftop, folding windows allow for constant adjustment according to temperature and occasion. Taking full advantage of the location’s most attractive feature - panoramic views of Shanghai old and new - a flexible arrangement of high and low seating guarantees every guest a view, while a long modular communal table draws the eye to the river vistas beyond.

1-king image-bar counter-吧台区.jpg
bar counter
7-overview of Cloud Bistro-全景.jpg
overview of Cloud Bistro
8-bar counter-吧台区.jpg
bar counter

A combination of materials including bronze metal, muted gray textiles, and white marble counter  reflect Cloud Bistro’s day-to-night functionality. The palette lends the space an additional layer of flexibility, making it a versatile venue for everything from weekend brunches and afternoon teas, to evening parties and cocktail receptions.

6-high tables for landscape view-高桌区可欣赏极佳的室外景观.jpg
high tables for landscape view

Adaptability was also a key priority for the venue’s art exhibition space, positioned at the far end of the space. With this in mind, the shelving are flexible and a chain of light boxes can be easily customized to match exhibitions’ visual identity. For branded shows, such as a 2019 display by jewellery label Tiffany & Co., additional light boxes above the bar present further opportunities for tailored customer experiences. 

3-banquette seating-卡座长椅区.jpg
banquette seating
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banquette seating
5-the curve of the lighting installation echoes the original staircase-灯光装置的曲线与原有楼梯相呼应.jpg
the curve of the lighting installation echoes the original staircase

With Cloud Bistro, Kokaistudios sought to blur boundaries between outside and inside, architecture and river, art space and eatery, and create a seemingly organic extension of Fosun Foundation. This was achieved by deliberately connecting Cloud Bistro’s interior to the building’s existing design language. For example, the curvature of its primary access point - a stone staircase - is extended to form banquette seating, which in turn wraps around a central island bar. Above, a cloud-like installation of copper and brass, inlaid with LED lights, recalls the building’s dramatic architectural facade.

13-outdoor terrace can also be used as high-end activities space-室外平台亦可作为高端活动场地.jpg
outdoor terrace can also be used as high-end activities space
15-night aerial view-夜景航拍图.jpg
night aerial view
16-night bird view-夜景俯视图.jpg
night bird view

A particular challenge was to build the venue over and around a pre-existing art work by Japanese artist, Tatsuo Miyajima. Titled ‘Counter Sky Garden,’ it comprises a digital countdown of numbers, made up of some 300 LED lights laid into what was formerly the building’s fourth floor rooftop. Now partially encased inside Cloud Bistro’s footprint, Kokaistudios ensured its blinking digits remain largely visible. A striking focal point of the venue, both inside and on its attractive outdoor terrace, the light-based work complements the bistro’s transition from day through to night, creating a relationship between the installation’s constantly alternating countdown, and the flowing river beyond. 

14-Cloud Bistro crowns Shanghai’s Fosun Foundation-Cloud Bistro为上海复兴艺术中心加冕.jpg
Cloud Bistro crowns Shanghai’s Fosun Foundation

Cloud Bistro builds on Kokaistudios’ extensive international experience in creating dramatic rooftop F&B venues. These include Shanghai’s Bar Rouge, the crowning nightclub on the top floor of UNESCO Heritage Award-winning Bund 18; and for Four Seasons Kuwait, twin restaurants overlooking the Persian Gulf, Sintoho and Dai Forni. For Fosun Foundation, designers drew on this global experience to create an attractive eatery that is at once a destination in its own right, yet can also be readily incorporated into the venue’s broader arts programming either through branding and visuals, or flexible event space. Taking its location and prestige as starting points, and with transparency and organic logic at its core, Cloud Bistro marks a successful extension to one of Shanghai’s newest architectural icons.

 

Project information

Project name: Cloud Bistro

Location: Shanghai, China

Floor area: 390 Square meters

Date of completion: Apr. 2020

Client: Fosun Foundation 

Interior Design: Kokaistudios

Chief Designers: Andrea Destefanis, Filippo Gabbiani

Design Director: Rake Wang

Project Managers:  Ada Sun, Chang Qing

Design Team:  Vivian Fang, Winnie Chen, Rao Lingshan

Photography: Dirk Weiblen

Text: Frances Arnold

Media Contact: Jacqueline Chiang

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