Shanghai – It should make no sense, and yet it does: at Tre Vin, a new wine bar in the upscale Kerry Everbright City complex, bottles after bottles of carefully selected harvests are placed high along a wall of grooves and ridges. Made of concrete. Near a very hard floor. On top of that, customers are invited to play around with the system, picking and unmounting the bottles themselves. Won't somebody think of the wine?
This should all induce some high levels of anxiety, but actually achieves the opposite: once visitors realize that Quarta & Armando have done some outstanding math, with some hidden wire elements that have turned the project from a beverage purveyor to a haptic experience, the fear of spilled wine quickly dissipates.
The duo's goal was to enhance the sensory involvement associated with food and wine pairing. ‘We wanted to encourage curiosity and interaction,’ explained co-founder Gianmaria Quarta.
But that’s not the only pleasantly disconcerting element inside the spot: the floor appears to be upside down, as a combination of blue and white shards from Mediterranean hydraulic tiles give the impression of there being a sky below – some are reflected on mirror-like splinters, which then turn into fragments of light on the actual ceiling. On top of that, some water-like mirrors help further distort the visual experience, by expanding or multiplying specific elements according to the viewpoint of the customer.
The entire setup results in a hospitality space that pays homage to the hidden creativity behind some of Italy and Spain’s winemaking traditions. It shouldn’t work, and yet it does.