from bullets to bottles: shanghai godolphin turns military bunker into wine museum

from bullets to bottles: shanghai godolphin turns military bunker into wine museum


shanghai godolphin is a china-based wine lifestyle consulting and design firm. just a 1.5 hour drive outside shanghai, nestled within the chenshan mountain botanical gardens, the studio has turned an old military bunker into a unique industrial style winery — creating the a home for the international wine and spirits museum.

looking down the candlelit gallery that demonstrates the original formwork of the bunker



the free standing bunker was originally built by chan kai shek, an ex-leader of the republic of china, inside the chenshan mountain cave over 80 years ago. used to store national treasures for safe keeping during war time, the site also functioned as a hold for artillery and anti-aircraft machine guns. the bunker was strategically placed there due to the cave’s internal fresh water lake, previously quarried out by the british who then used the stone to build the famous shanghai bund.

peeking into the wine museum through the primary entry door



‘my senses were first met by the musty smell of stale damp air and the reverberations of our steps and voices off of the concrete walls’, explains yin lixue, managing director of shaghai godolphin, of her first time visiting the location. ‘as each section of the bunker was lit one at a time by the old emergency lights above, we could see it had been abandoned for some time and lived several lives of its own.’

a vast collection of wine objects and artefacts are displayed throughout the museum



the international wine and spirits museum mixes raw military functionality with the luxurious experienciality one would expect of such an institution. unfinished cement brick walls are offset with undulating installations made using repurposed wine crates. taking the form of seemingly organic insertions, the crates visually symbolise the location’s gradual transition from one function to another.

wine boxes manipulate the standard concrete bunker arch to transform the wine retail experience



overhead, chandeliers illuminate the long, arching hallways of the bunker, in many cases creating an illusion of almost endless corridors. this effect is especially prevalent in the main storage passageway, where multiple rows of repurposed wine crate again add to the illusion of limitless space and staggering quantity. the effect is both disconcerting and captivating, and encourages visitors to explore further the depths the museum has to offer.

visitors can purchase bottles of wine that are displayed on the custom retail racks



a private cellar area, entered via a set of heavy metal doors, is home to an intimate wine tasting room. here, a centralized marble table lends itself to an almost gothic atmosphere as candles are suspended overhead on a floating glass shelf and high backed wooden chairs line the room. wooden wall panels add a softness to the atmosphere of the space, but the white stone walls that peek out from between remind guests of the solidity of the structure, and reinforces the overall sense of both exclusivity and familiarity.

the wine pavilions encase what seems like a nearly infinite collection of alcohol

entry into the private cellar is layered by a series of heavy doors

a long marble table in the private cellar is used to share and celebrate wine

a mirror in the ceiling plays with visitors’ perception of this wine display



designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: peter corboy | designboom

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