SHANGHAI – On the fourth floor of a century-old red-brick building on Zhongshan Road is nestled Lady Bund, a restaurant whose mix of East Asian and Western stylistic and gastronomic elements mirrors the architecture of its edifice.
The starting point for Dariel Studio when it undertook the crafting of the Asian-fusion restaurant’s identity was a symbiosis between Chinese, Japanese and European cultural heritages and cuisines amid a versatile, cosy decor.
In Lady Bund, different East Asian cultural elements converge to both communicate the restaurant’s culinary style and frame the space: Japanese ceramic eggs can be found near Chinese calligraphy brushes, and Sarachi wraps cover walls, ceilings and antique busts.
In the dining areas, rope strings inspired by silk weaving looms map the space, while paper scrolls unfold across the ceiling to a wall displaying a mural of a tattooed back. Long rolls of paper are also used to divide the space, adding a bold and sensual touch to the atmosphere.
If fusion in design is in part concerned with melding aesthetic registers, it should do so while keeping functionality in mind. Both dining areas in Lady Bund feature a VIP space, surrounded by Malaysian rattan blinds that provide intimacy while keeping up with the restaurant’s culturally heterogeneous ethos.