DI: What is the main principle, idea and inspiration behind your design?
OSL : Mooncraft is a boutique bar located at the Cool Docks in Shanghai, which was originally a grease factory in the Shiliupu era on the South Bund. Mooncraft integrates all the design elements by O&O STUDIO as one identity, from the branding of the bar to its architectural and interior design which draw inspirations from the Shanghai Bund and Shiliupu history. The bar includes hand-crafted beer bar, whiskey bar, restaurant, and a rarely seen robotic bartender.
Mooncraft occupies three connecting shop units and operates as one single space. The original site has a lack of sense of space and is overloaded with three shopfronts. By making use of additional partitions and raised platform, the existing structure is being absorbed and the site is further broken down into several zones with back of house space hidden. A clear frontage as main entrance and a rear elevation are created, as well as making a logical spatial arrangement possible.
Our Client requires several functions to take place in Mooncraft in a relatively mere space. While trying to maintain scenic Cool Docks water feature and the amazing South Bund views the for the customers, there is a need for several back of house spaces. A combination of U-shaped bar counter, partitions, and raised platform play an important role to create a sense of space as well as meeting the requirement from our Client on the bar functions.
Mooncraft has a 130sqm floor area. Its main elevation is a composition of two 3m high dockside warehouse inspired weathered steel portals that plug onto the façade openings. They come as an inverted U-shape that forms the entrance, and an upstand U-shape with operable window and balcony that connect the inside and outside space. The craft-beer bar has a 1.1m high countertop while the whiskey bar is 0.7m high as it sits on top of a raised platform which also distinguish the two spaces seamlessly.
Mooncraft stands for a place that holds moment of dialogue at the once prosperous Shiliupu era. It is a place that is filled with time and stories, for one to sense and embraced with a tipsy and emotional moment. Mooncraft is a place that is filled with time and stories, for one to sense and embraced with a tipsy and emotional moment.
DI: What has been your main focus in designing this work? Especially what did you want to achieve?
OSL : Adjacent to the Shanghai Bund, the Shiliupu Wharf is simply full of dramatic stories from the past – from the wharfs to the tycoons, warehouses to longtangs, these should all be somehow celebrated. Wondering along the rippling Huangpu River especially through the evening hours, Mooncraft is well placed for one to relax and have a moonlight sip.
While there are rich layers of historical and contextual references for inspiration, O&O Studio do not want to create a literal themed design but having an exquisite conception. Together with a simple material palette including weathered steel, stainless steel and back painted glass, the circular and mirror elements play an important part throughout, mimicking different moon-themed scenes and reflective sky, with the folding mirrors that is purposely placed that create wonderful reflections.
DI: What are your future plans for this award winning design?
OSL : We have always been in touch with our Client. Once we update him about the good news, he is very pleased and excited with the award. We certainly hope that this would help from a business perspective, given the current economy situation. From a long term perspective, we also wish to have the opportunity to design another and an even better bar and restaurant for our Client.
DI: Why did you design this particular concept? Was this design commissioned or did you decide to pursuit an inspiration?
OSL : The project was commissioned by a private client who is very interested with our design approach as well as being a new start-up which he would like to explore something different for his first boutique bar.
DI: How did you come up with the name for this design? What does it mean?
OSL : The branding of MOONCRAFT integrates all the design elements as one identity. From the bar’s name to its logo, as well as the architectural and interior design, they share the same concept throughout, all by O&O STUDIO.
Imagine the full moon hanging above the Huangpu River, together with the river’s geometry that forms a glass that hold some of the richest history of the city with the yellow lunar gradually dipping into the glass, form the logo of Mooncraft. The name “Mooncraft“ stands for a place that holds moment of dialogue, enjoying the best craft beet in town under the moon and starry sky adjacent to the Souths Bund.
DI: What are some of the challenges you faced during the design/realization of your concept?
OSL : Although it sounds simple, it is a challenge to inspire and convince our Client about O&O’s design approach.
O&O STUDIO do no design something literal. In Mooncraft we have taken references from the contextual and historical background thus resulting an artistic conception project. A lot of mirrors and reflecting elements are applied to achieve unexpected moments that also response to the dockside and moon inspired design concept.
DI: How did you decide to submit your design to an international design competition?
OSL : Mooncraft is O&O STUDIO’s first completed project and this means a lot to us. We want to expose ourselves further to countries other than in the Asia region thus participated in the A’ Design Award 2019. We are very excited and feel humbled that Mooncraft is awarded Bronze in the Interior Design category. We hope to share more in the near future about what we have been working on and completing soon.