Kokaistudios reimagines Bar Rouge as a glamorous fashion studio and stage, as Christie Lee reports.
Perched atop a UNESCO building on The Bund in Shanghai, Bar Rouge has re-opened after a four-month renovation by Kokaistudios, the Shanghai-based studio who designed the bar when it first opened in 2005. As the place to see and be seen, Shanghai’s crème de la crème regularly rubbed shoulders with an enviable roster of international DJs at Bar Rouge. Reimagining the space as a fashion studio-cum-runway, Kokaistudio’s slink new design aims to take that renown a step further.
The experience begins at the entrance, where LED walls furnished with numerous flashbulbs can either be set to flash and mimic the barrage of paparazzi flashes, or be calibrated to display customised messages.
A long Kraiburg red carpet leads patrons from the reception area to the spacious outdoor lounge. Inspired by traditional Chinese beds and wooden cabinets, the sofas are arranged in a box-like fashion. Upholstered in luxurious leather, they allow patrons to sit back and enjoy the swirl of activities happening at the DJ booth and aisle. The dim lighting adds to the sense of voyeurism.
As the jewel in the crown, the bar is conceived from a vibrant backlit red glass panel with an embedded custom pattern. Sparkling director chairs dot the sides of the bar, while Fortuny lamps hang high above, casting a warm glow on the individual seating. A section of the bar is elevated for ad-hoc dance performances.
Nestled between two ‘Super VIP’ lounges, the enlarged DJ booth enjoys prime location on the terrace. A feature wall rises high against the Pudong skyline behind the booth, the light nodes programmed to interact with the music. A standalone private suite has also taken the spot of an old ventilation room.
Surprise awaits patrons in both the male and female toilets. While the male toilet features cubic decorations evocative of cigar boxes, the female counterpart is set like a stage studio, where fifty adjustable backlit make-up mirrors hang on the pristine white walls.