SHANGHAI’S HOTTEST DESIGN DESTINATIONS
How to spend an aesthetically inspiring 48 hours in China’s second city | 到臨中國第二大城市愉快度過48小時
Shanghai’s glory days might have ended with World War II, but the Paris of the East is undergoing an artistic, architectural and design revival to rival its meteoric rise to cultural relevance in the early 1900s. From inspiring eateries and boundary-pushing boutiques, to stylish hotels and creative art spaces, here’s our guide to some of the hottest design destinations in China’s second city.
Eschew the big names and hunker down in The Waterhouse at South Bund, one of the city’s original boutique hotels. Realised by Neri&Hu Design and Research Office (without whom the words "design in Shanghai" cannot be uttered), this 19-room property occupies a ‘30s warehouse in a historic dockyard district on the banks of the Huangpu River. The industrial architecture of the building has not only been conserved, but elevated. Original concrete and brickwork are left exposed to contrast with new systems of circulation that improve the flow of the space and guests’ interaction with the design. The rooms are minimal, refined and comfortable, fitted out with furniture by the likes of Arne Jacobsen and Hans Wegner. The hotel also boasts a modern European restaurant, Table No. 1, and a rooftop bar offering spectacular views of the Pudong skyline.
別再迷戀主流大牌，快來城中其中一所原裝精品酒店水舍·上海南外灘酒店走走看看。這座由如恩設計研究所打造的19房物業建有1930年代倉庫，反映工業碼頭的歷史背景，並跟黃浦江畔為鄰。原裝大樓的工業建築不但被細意保留，更加有所提升，以外露的原裝混凝土和磚材跟新建、改善客人與設計體驗的循環系統作亮眼對比，大玩公用空間與私隱天地的概念。房間採簡約、細緻又舒適的設計，配置來自Arne Jacobsen和Hans Wegner之手的傢具。酒店內的外灘第一台餐廳大走現代歐洲路線，而水舍露台酒吧則飽覽黃浦江美景。
Shanghai boasts a cornucopia of culinary options, promising to satisfy even the most discerning of gourmands. Dinner reservations should be made at Xintiandi’s Xixi Bistro – it’s the second iteration of the incredibly popular bar-restaurant after licensing issues forced the first to shutter up, and has been warmly welcomed back by the city’s diners. Spanning two floors, the downstairs speakeasy-style bar embodies ‘30s Shanghai glamour with jewel-toned velvet upholstery, ornate illuminations and art deco-inspired appointments, while the upstairs dining room is a riot of floral wallpaper, statement lanterns diffusing soft, low light and delightfully mismatched tableware. Expect well executed Chinese-Italian dishes ideal for sharing that lean more towards local flavours than European ones, tea-infused cocktails and genuinely excellent service. For an after-dinner change of scenery, enjoy postprandial sips at Calypso, an AvroKO designed wine bar at Jing An Shangri-La Hotel. Inspired by the nearby former residence of Mao Zedong, it is a vision in glass and bamboo, at once contemporary and influenced by Chinese heritage.
In search of an unmissable brunch spot? Look no further than Highline. Since opening in late 2016, it has all but eclipsed its peers thanks to exquisite interiors and a modern American menu. Pastel appointments and retro curves recall a laid-back California meets mid-century Miami aesthetic, while a curated soundtrack of lesser known hits from the 80s and beyond adds just the right amount of ambience. A compact lunch menu delivers generous portions of comfort classics – think chicken and waffles, a brisket sandwich and French toast sticks – which means you’ll be tempted to linger long into the afternoon.
BOUTIQUE BEAUTY Imagined by Shanghai design royalty, Neri&Hu, The Waterhouse at South Bund is an architectural vision in glass, exposed brick, and concrete, where old and new converge. 精品之美 由上海設計達人Neri&Hu構想的水舍·上海南外灘酒店是個揉合玻璃、外露磚面和混凝土的新舊共融建築。
MID-CENTURY MARVEL Highline has fast established itself as Shanghai’s premier brunch spot thanks to exquisite Miami-inspired interiors and a modern American menu.