Kartel Wine Lounge

Kartel is a three-story lounge bar located in the former French Concession in Shanghai. The neighborhood is a pleasant mix of residential and retail complexes featuring classic Chinese and European architectural infrastructure, international restaurants and local stalls, scenic tree lined streets and narrow traditional lanes. It is a perfect combination of what constitutes the city today.

With a concept of “Destroy Chic”, the designer - Thomas Dariel wanted Kartel to play with these contrasts and be elegant yet provoking in this heritage district.

As the demolition of the previous space was going on, the “Destroy” part of the concept naturally crept in. While the walls were coming down, the original structure of the building revealed itself featuring shapes, textures, memories to be treasured. As the “Beaux-Arts” style in Europe pays homage to the buildings by ripping off anything that conceals their original architecture, the creators decided to keep several places intact. Exposed concrete walls, undressed stripped down pillars, and old letterings made by the people who built the place are part of these heritage elements.


Answering and balancing this raw side, Kartel offers an elegant and sophisticated décor served by comfy and stylish custom-made furniture, a warm atmosphere combining and mix-matching European and Asian influences. The lounge spans on three floors, two indoor plus a rooftop terrace. The three individual spaces propose three distinct styles and atmospheres.

With moldings and fireplace, the 4th Floor reminds people of the cozy and plush atmosphere of a traditional Parisian salon, the kind of place for impassioned and intimate discussions while enjoying a nice glass of Burgundy.

Upstairs, the main lounge features wrap-around floor-to-ceiling windows with the stunning sight at Shanghai’s skyscrapers, it mixes influences and turns upside down the traditional codes and clichés of the traditional wine bar. Instead of oak barrels, one can find bathtubs modified into sofas juxtaposed with very chic chrome-plated armchairs and art deco inspired tables. Spreading along the wall, a large wine cellar illuminates the whole space with a masterpiece placed on the stage to recall club goers that wine is still the main subject of the place.

The rooftop terrace with sofas and high-top tables is set apart by the destructive full 360-degree views over the surrounding French Concession, a nice draw for those seeking a more casual atmosphere.


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