Nowadays, as China’s preeminent financial hub, Shanghai is a fast-paced cosmopolitan city with the architecture to match. But in the 19th century, most of its urban housing was situated along what was called longtang(弄堂), or alleyways–narrow networks between two or three-story apartment houses, connected with communal courtyards.
In their designs for Logan’s Punch, in the Jing’an district of Shanghai, Chinese architects Lyndon Neri and Rossana Hu (Neri&Hu) drew inspiration from these labyrinthine alleyways, as well as the city’s traditional timber houses and bamboo cladding. Through its interior design, the bar, which exclusively serves punch, offers a trip back to an old Shanghai that’s increasingly being swallowed up by skyscrapers.
The narrow entry corridor is modeled after one of the city’s alleyways. A series of “alley rooms,” intimate little booths, are arranged on one side of the bar, walled in dark brick, while the other side mimics the open common space of a courtyard. The bathrooms feature solid concrete sinks with copper taps, modeled after those found in alleyways for public use, “a tribute to the fast-disappearing vibrancy of traditional lane house living,” Neri and Hu explain in a statement. Strips of reclaimed timber zigzag across the bathroom floors. Neri&Hu’s glassware and furniture for the space, including glass lampshades in bottle green, punch bowls, wine carafes, and wooden chairs, lend pops of color to the timber-covered space.
Logan’s Punch, Unit 202 2/F, NO 99 Taixing Road (Near Wujiang Road), Jing An Shanghai