There’s a Speakeasy in Shanghai Hidden Behind This Old Coke Machine
Situated in the former French Concession area of Shanghai you will find a nondescript sandwich shop called, The Press. There’s not much to the place aside from a neon sign with a whimsical epithet and an old Coca-Cola machine in the corner…
Alberto Caiola, the designer of The Press adds:
At first glance, The traditional diner setting of The Press looks immediately familiar to passerby, but a number of edgier, more contemporary details call for a second look: the smooth, finished countertops in colourful shades, neon lighting strips and polished minimalism of the furnishings set against unfinished walls, rough concrete walls and floors, plus a dramatic, asymmetrical drop ceiling create an unconventional scene that inspires curiosity in the space. The centrepiece of the room is a vintage Coca-Cola vending machine, which is split vertically to swing open and reveal the entrance to Flask.
Through a tunnel visitors will step into an environment of extreme contrast with the sandwich shop up front. Welcome to Flask; a dimly lit, contemporary take on the classic speakeasy.
Flask was also designed by Caiola and the first thing you’ll notice is the impressive floor-to-ceiling shelving unit right next to the entrance, featuring 25 individually illuminated whiskey bottles.
The second piece you’ll notice is a wall installation featuring rows of flasks that are hidden behind a mysterious layer—like the speakeasy itself, the surfaces of these flasks are hidden, with only the outline of their shapes to give the viewer an idea of what lies beneath.
The rest of the space is designed to feel private and personal. Lighting is kept minimal and muted, with several base points throughout the venue each emitting a warm glow of light that bounces off one another. The most prominent of these is the copper lighting arrangement in the inside of the drop ceiling, which diffuses subtle amber light from the overhead.
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