Text description provided by the architects. The Bar-Ji is located in the shopping street of Zhuji Changnongtang. The entire street is an antique Chinese-style building complex. In order to match the traditional Chinese style of the entire complex, while meeting the needs of modern bar business format, we adopt a spatial jump strategy, set up a progressive spatial order, resolve the contradiction between the format and style, and weaken the opposition between indoor and outdoor. Experience a wonderful space jump experience from the outdoor into the room.
Based on program, the space was divide into four levels: White Gallery, Black Arcade, Blue Bar and Red Bar.
Every single space was given a completely differenct atmosphere based on its program and spacial quality. In this way, from one space to the next, we created a dramatic jumping experience, like montage technique in movie language.
Continuing the Chinese architectural style of Changnongtan street, the white gallery leaves the original main façade texture intact, and only changes the window to the slim screen, in the form of perforated plates. On the one hand, it strengthens the Chinese zen conception, on the other hand, it also has a light filtering effect, creating a separation and connection at the same time between indoor and outdoor.
The black arcade appears without any clue. It is directly inserted into the belly of the bar, dividing the bar into blue one and red one, at the same time creating another layer of mysterious space to enter the room, namely speak easy. (The underground bar entrance form from the US Prohibition Period, which is now standard on bars). The black arcade adds several rows of rib arches and dim wall lights in a limited space, and sets a full-height mirror at the both ends to create an endless sense of depth, creating a Gothic gloomy effect.
Blue bar is the main bar, serving cocktails. It appears in a simple and modern image. Through the use of the most common materials, like stainless steel, cement, terrazzo, and polycarbonate panels, with the blue neon light, to achieve the same material reflected in different colors, different materials coordinated under the same spatial effects. The bar, along with the simplest hanging cabinets arranged in rectangular array, penetrates the black arcade, over the arched doorway, into the next space - the red bar.
The red bar is like the twin brother of the blue bar, but has opposite character. It dedicated to whisky. The design language has the continuity of the blue bar, but the materials and lighting effect are different, forming a retro and delicate image. The large area of the brass wave plate maps the red neon effect, creating a true and illusory effect in the space.
For the business reasons, the bar is divided into two. Blue bar is the main one, serving cocktail to the ordinary customers; Red bar is the extra one, serving whisky mainly for the vip guests. One small space was divided into two even smaller ones. In order to leave more space to the customers, we put these two bar side by side and made a long service bar passing through them. From bartender’s perspective, it is easy to operater from one to another and so on to save area. From guests’ perspective, the same form of hanging carbinets, but different material and light effect in two bars leaves the similar image but completely different characters, like antithesis in literature.
Besides the two bars, the form of entrance contains another antithesis. The white gallery naturaly merges with the surroundings, keeping the Chinese Zen illusion ahead, while the black arcade interrupt without any clue, bringing gothic gloomy effect behind. These two corridors arranged in particular order, emphasizing the contrast and similarity at the same time, to enrich the level of the entry experience.
The Bar-Ji borrows montage technique from movie art. Starting from the urban’s perspective, the time axis on the film is transformed into a spatial sequence in reality, and carefully arranged according to the function. In the end, the two corridors and two bars are successively placed in a progressive space order. Design elements are no longer just the need to satisfy the function or create the atmosphere, but also to lay the groundwork for the next space, providing the customers a unique experience from outside to inside.