SHANGHAI – Neri&Hu hits another home(town) run with Rachel’s, a restaurant that brings the 1950s American burger-joint vibe to Shanghai.

In a city known for its hot, humid summers, the designers intentionally allowed the architecture to spill out into the street by incorporating a façade that opens up to merge interior and exterior.

Not only does the concept give patrons a taste of the outdoors; it also gives the illusion of extra space in one of China’s most densely populated cities. When the folding façade is sealed shut, glass and mirror fulfil the space-stretching role, bouncing both light and views of the surrounding streetscape into the 93-sqm interior. The open-air feel extends to the ceiling, where skylights add a sense of weightlessness to the structure.

In what’s becoming a Neri&Hu signature, flooring moves up to form furniture elements. Here, hand-painted tiles are both underfoot and under table, serving as the bases of custom-designed dining stations. Complete with pivoting bases made from steel, seating can swing this way or that to accommodate groups of various numbers.

Photos Dirk Weiblen

This project made its debut in Frame 110. For even more inspiring interiors, get your copy in the Frame store.


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