The West Bund Canteen Opens!
Located in Wisdom Valley of the West Bund Section in Xuhui District, the project is a supporting facility in the Xuhui Riverfront area, aiming to serve people working or living in the surrounding areas. The designer plans to create a space where multiple modes of businesses operate in various time frames, with “a canteen for the white collars” as its core function.
A “Bazaar” Canteen
A canteen is a place providing meals for a group of people, and is reminiscent of collective life that many people have experienced in the past. The designer hopes to give it more humanistic feelings and a flavor of life. The designer draws inspiration from childhood memories of a bazaar, where people shuttled and explored among the bustling crowds, and there was aroma of food wafting from the food stalls. At the end of the long narrow corridor is a clear and open area, where different types of booths line up, and the four square counters in the center support digital self-checkout. Under metal eaves is the group-based dining area, where organic vegetable boxes interspersed to divide spaces, and some of them are adopted and maintained by white-collar workers, enhancing people’s emotional connection with the canteen. The gray display stand between the booths provides a space for retail display of by-products of the canteen in the future.
The Terrace-shaped Networking Area
Around the core tube area, the designer created a terrace-shaped networking area. The luminous film at the top, simulating the sky light scene, creates a “sky light” experience for people in the basement space. The steps are combined with the dining area, and this seemingly redundant area offers a variety of possibilities for space expansion in the future, where people can have afternoon tea, do retail pop up display, or take small conference or lectures by using reserved white wall for projection.
Shared Composite Space
Due to its specific functionality, the space of a “canteen” is not put into use except the time of breakfast, lunch and dinner of a day. Since the project is located in the supporting commercial area of the office building and there are also communities around it, the designer has made the space suitable for office meetings, afternoon tea, wine bar, parent-child courses, billiard, urban farms, agricultural products retail and other complex formats to maximize the use of space and add vitality to it. The green and orange dining chairs bring freshness and brightness to the space, and the wooden and terrazzo tabletops convey users a simple and warm texture. It is the designer’s hope that those who come here can relax themselves and seek a poetic flavor and unexpected joy among the hustle and bustle of urban life.
Materials and Details
The designer chooses eco-friendly wheat straw board as the main materials for the booths in the space, and the warm yellow hue gives the space a warm and rustic tone. The metal mesh complements the ceiling lighting composed of fluorescent tubes, which is a metaphor for the element of eave in the market. The white putty brushed manually on the walls retains the traces made by craftsmen, and the naive and unsophisticated style is what the designer expressed in the space. The wood-colored metal frame shuttles vertically and horizontally across various functional areas, and the rectangular luminous blocks supported on the shelves are the main guide system of the entire space.
摄影师：XU STUDIO, 黄晓靖
Location of project: Shanghai, China
Design company: XU Studio
Design team: Xu Yijun, Xu Shijin, Mao Jiajun, He Zhiwei, Cai Mengyu, Peng Ling, Dong Jiahui, Zhang Yiyun
Construction drawing : DOP
Team member from the client: Huang Yaqun, Su Shu, and Xu Wei
Building area: 1600 square meters
Main materials: wheat straw board, terrazzo brick, wood grain brick, putty
Year of project completion: 2020
Photographer: XU STUDIO, Alex Huang