AB Concept designed the ‘Shang Palace & Li Bai Lounge’ in Taiwan.
Description from the architects:
A light, regal tone has been set in this series of fine dining spaces. AB Concept chose the popular ‘celestial cloud’ graphic motif to anchor a landscape of contrasting textures and dreamy watercolour fabric shades.
The motif appears first and most memorably behind the maitre d’ as a deep sculptural alcove, with its layers lit strikingly from inside, however it reappears in carpeting, ceiling reliefs and upholstery throughout the restaurant. The materials were selected for a sense of traditional elegance, among them brass accents, pearlescent paint finishes and lanterns in delicate silk. In the private dining spaces ‘precious’ themes - of pearl, jade and the celestial cloud – inform the design schemes; the latter is reserved for the state room, which opens out to its own patio. In the transitional Peony Vestibule the studio has created another striking impression with a large skylight, where the wooden petal-shaped panels of a ceiling installation soften and diffuse the light.
The adjacent bar and lounge was designed with romantic High Tang poet Li Bai in mind, and it blends the sophistication of a members’ club with a note of scholarly gravity. Working from the wedge-like shape of the room plan, AB Concept based the design loosely on a traditional Chinese scholar’s pavilion and layered it with a soft symmetry. This is achieved architecturally with an arrangement of pinewood panels in layers along the ceiling; distressed by hand for a textured effect and lit from behind, the panels follow the curve of the room and are echoed below by the step and grain of the travetine flooring.
The cool grey palette is brightened and warmed by distressed woods and amber accented textiles while soft inviting seating serves sturdy bronze table tops. There is a strong residential vibe here: console tables and lacquered screens stand sentry and lighting is provided by decorative lamps with oriental design motifs.
Though large windows give the lounge an airy disposition by day, in the evening its character changes, aided by softer lighting, live music and an innovative display behind the bar that allows the art work to be rotated and replaced by an array of bottles.