alberto caiola blends natural & synthetic in shanghai’s botanist lounge
all images courtesy of dirk weiblen
reflective tables bounce views views from the street into the futuristic depths of plant-based cocktail bar ‘botanist’ in shanghai. located at the heart of china’s sci-fi city, the former french concession, synthetic and natural come together in harmony to harness the savory flavors of natural ingredients and high-quality spirits. the lounge, designed by alberto caiola, was created in response to growing public interest in healthy, sustainable lifestyles. a range of seasonal herbs, spices, flowers, fruits, and vegetables are highlighted as crucial elements in the interior concept.
entrance – permeable metal meshes and light strips
throughout the space, elements including floor-to-ceiling green walls and a plant/polycarbonate wall installation are contrasted by angular, synthetic components. the latter is most manifest in a dramatic drop ceiling of geometric metal forms and strip lighting. drawing from chemical structures, the irregular frames create a futuristic maze that seamlessly transitions into the bar and tables opposite.
floor-to-ceiling living wall of aromatic plants
sofa and pouf stools bring vibrancy to the space, thanks in part to their luxurious deep blue color. assorted lighting emphasizes and minimizes specific areas to provide differentiated environments for ‘botanist’ patrons to relax and socialize in while they enjoy drinks. tabletops and bar are made of polished metal to represent classic sci-fi images of speed and dynamism. distinct seating areas are similarly composed utilizing permeable metal meshes with embedded strip lights. from a prominent position behind the service counter infusion jars of select ingredients reinforce the lounge’s commitment to excellence in preparation and presentation.
the sculptural ceiling installation wraps around the entirety of the cocktail bar
backlit infusion jars emphasize the natural beauty of herbs and spices suspended in liquid
a wall installation places various plants behind translucent polycarbonate sheets
sofas and poufs upholstered in deep blue add vibrancy to the space
partitions lend a degree of privacy without compromising openness
edited by: nick brink | designboom