ISSUE 4  |  Chinese New Year

Strange but True: Tapas in Shanghai

January 29, 2014 2:00 PM

BY Izabella Simmons

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The Commune Social is a recently opened tapas bar in the center of Shanghai. Design team Neri & Hu Design and Research Office set out to create a communal space consisting of four distinct rooms and atmospheres–a cocktail bar, tapas bar, dining room, and dessert bar–that allow guests to “journey” from one room to another, socializing, sipping, and nibbling along the way. Each space serves up different dishes for diners to share, creating an ever-moving social ambiance.

Photographs by Pedro Pegenaute via Arch Daily

Above: The Commune Social experience starts with drinks on an outdoor terrace, with a view of chefs at work in the tapas bar. 

Above: Neri & Hu used reclaimed wood as flooring, furniture, and wainscotting. It’s paired with iron elements, including custom lighting, that lend the spaces an industrial feel. 

Above: The rustic dining area features unfinished concrete and white brick. The rawness of the design and what the restaurant describes as “freshness of the visual encounter” was intended to mirror the freshness of the food.  

Above: Drinks are served at the Secret Bar, lit by industrial lighting with exposed bulbs. 

Above: Grab your drink and move onto the next room for more tapas or dessert.  

Above: Last stop, the dessert bar. The all white space has a clinical feel, allowing crispy lemon meringue with cucumber sorbet and other sweets to be presented against a clean canvas. For more information, visit The Commune Social.

We get some our best design ideas from restaurants. For more of finds near and far, have a look at our Restaurant Visit posts. And if you’re a fan of reclaimed wood, check out our recent post Aesop in Hong Kong: A Hong Kong Apothecary Made from Ship’s Wood