The Exchange Bar, Shanghai by NONG STUDIO

The Exchange Bar, Shanghai by NONG STUDIO
The name”BLACKSTONE EXCHANGE” is derived from the stock exchange. This is because the bar owner is from Wall Street, and also coincides with the era background of Blackstone Apartments.

Project: The Exchange Bar
Design Studio: NONG STUDIO
Chef designer: Chasing Wang, Neal Zhu
Design Team: Dafu, Fan Zhang, Alessia Di Meglio, Weiquan Chen
Lighting Consultant: Fager Yang
Completion year: 2020.10
Area: 150 sqm
Address: Blackstone Apartment, Shanghai, China
Photographer: Chasing Wang
Text and photos: Courtesy of NONG STUDIO

There is a memory called the Bund, and a style called Old Shanghai.
The Blackstone Apartments Building is in the former French Concession. It marks the modern architectural classics of Shanghai with an eclectic style. It was known as the “most luxurious apartment” in Shanghai at that time for its luxurious configuration. It was also sought after as the most popular social place for its famous and distinguished residents.

The Exchange Bar, Shanghai by NONG STUDIO
The centre area is a symmetrical space. The top arc shape coincides with the iconic curved balcony on the facade of the Blackstone Apartment.

The BLACKSTONE EXCHANGE takes its design language from the traces of Shanghai in the 1930s, where it is located. It was flashy and gorgeous, lazy and mysterious, unique and unusual, introverted and self-sustaining. It accepts the infiltration of the western culture but stubbornly maintains the national tradition.

The Exchange Bar, Shanghai by NONG STUDIO
The visual centre of the entire space is the golden turntable. It is the centre of the stage on the central axis. The shape coincides with the turntable of the bank vault, which illuminates the “exchange” from its name.

The entrance of the Exchange Bar is set on the side of the building. The long walkway paved with mosaic tiles seems to fade away from the hustle and bustle of the flashy world. The bar owner seemed to only search for friends thus setting up a mechanism outside the door. After finding the key to pass, the door slowly opened.

The Exchange Bar, Shanghai by NONG STUDIO

Through the long walkway, the fully open symmetrical space after entering the bar makes people suddenly enlightened. The top arc shape coincides with the iconic curved balcony on the facade of the Blackstone Apartment. The wall behind the wooden bar is decorated with various baroque stigmas. Under the background of the mottled red bricks, a sense of chaos in time and space is created. It makes people feel as if they were in an Italian family tavern. It feels mysterious and historical.

The Exchange Bar, Shanghai by NONG STUDIO
The wall behind the wooden bar is decorated with various baroque stigmas. Under the background of the mottled red bricks, a sense of chaos in time and space is created. It makes people feel as if they were in an Italian family tavern. It feels mysterious and historical.

The visual centre of the entire space is the golden turntable. It is the centre of the stage on the central axis. The shape coincides with the turntable of the bank vault, which illuminates the “exchange” from its name. However, there are only bottles of whiskey on the axis. Like a whirlpool, people can’t help but sink. What is even more unexpected is that the double-sided sights of this golden turntable. The sight from the stage cannot be crossed. However, from the bathroom on the other side, each corner of the hall can be seen through the turntable. It is secret and exciting.

The Exchange Bar, Shanghai by NONG STUDIO
Roman stigma decoration adopts the method of lighting at the bottom, which can not only present a crystal clear visual sense of the glass bottle, but also create a sense of historical mystery.

The two boxes behind the bar on the side of the lobby are extracted from banks. One is from the western vault, and the other is from the Chinese account room. The aisle becomes a long corridor of the vault. Stainless steel compartments of the “vault” store the wines from patrons. The wall of the “account room” is decorated with abacuses. The abacus beads form the cloudiness through the light and shadow area. This feeling adds a few more mysteries to the atmosphere of the box.

bathroom, NONG STUDIO
The golden turntable has double-sided sights. The sight from the stage cannot be crossed. However, from the bathroom on the other side, each corner of the hall can be seen through the turntable. It is secret and exciting.

The Exchange Bar is everywhere to tell you the name “exchange” and the origin of the bar owner. It tells from the old newspaper at the entrance to the dining table covered with coins. It also tells from the vault shape of the stage to the two private boxes of the vault and the account room. This mysterious reservedness beyond the extravagant seems to take you to the heyday of Shanghai in the 1930s. Nearly a century changed Shanghai a lot. Even so, nothing seems to have changed.

The Exchange Bar, Shanghai by NONG STUDIO
The Western-style box derived from the vault.
The Exchange Bar, Shanghai by NONG STUDIO
The mechanism at the entrance of the bar is an old New York Times newspaper. After finding the key to pass, the door slowly opened.
The Exchange Bar, Shanghai by NONG STUDIO
The lights of the Chinese-style box come from the scattered light behind the abacus wall, creating a mysterious atmosphere.
chinese-style box, NONG STUDIO
The wall of the Chinese-style box is decorated with abacuses. The abacus beads form the cloudiness through the light and shadow area. This feeling adds a few more mysteries to the atmosphere of the box.
The wines from patrons stored at stainless steel compartments.
The wines from patrons stored at stainless steel compartments.
long corridor
The aisle becomes a long corridor of the vault. Stainless steel compartments of the “vault” store the wines from patrons.
The Exchange Bar, Shanghai by NONG STUDIO
From the street side of the Blackstone Apartments, people can see the bright lights in the central area of the bar through the windows.

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