Design studio Linehouse has combined stainless steel and meteorites to create a space-themed cafe in central Shanghai as the first Chinese outpost of Australian chain Black Star Pastry.
The ground floor of the red-brick villa serves as a café and pastry shop for Black Star Pastry, famous for selling a Strawberry Watermelon Cake dubbed “Australia’s most Instagrammed dessert” by The New York Times.
Shanghai-based Linehouse designed the space to evoke the feeling of being in the space.
“The ground floor elicits the incredible sensation of being on board a spaceship,” the studio said.
The studio covered the walls of the café with stainless steel shelves containing thousands of meteorites.
The shelf extends across the ceiling to form an arched shape that the studio described as “an exploration of gravity versus weightlessness.”
Continuing this theme, a counter display showcases nine levitating cakes. Presented in glass containers, the rotating cakes are supported by magnetic levitation.
The phrase “we’re all just stardust” can be found on the edges of common tables, creating an effect of each letter dripping off the edge of the table by gravity.
Elsewhere on the ground floor, there are retail areas filled with coffee beans and clothing.
A staircase clad in raw concrete terrazzo takes guests upstairs to an exhibition-style dining space called the Black Star Gallery.
It features works by four emerging international artists curated by Black Star Pastry’s creative director, Louis Li, to create an imaginary futuristic habitat.
The ceiling is lined with a metal grid. The flooring is terrazzo tile cast in raw concrete, giving the space a touch of wildness and creating a museum-like vibe for art.
The gallery can be used as a tea room in the afternoon and as a cocktail bar at night.
A private room named There There is separated from the main dining room by a deep blue velvet curtain. It contains an intimate bar wrapped in acid etched blue metal.
Blackened wood covers the floor of the room unlike the exposed concrete of the other spaces of the café. A curved stainless steel bottom keeps the wines on display.
Black Star Pastry was founded in Sydney, Australia in 2008 and is the creator of the Strawberry Watermelon Cake, the most Instagrammed cake in the world according to the New York Times. This is its first store outside Australia.
Linehouse was named Emerging Interior Designer of the Year at the 2021 Dezeen Awards. The studio’s recent projects include the conversion of a Shanghai office building’s swimming pool into additional workspace and a contemporary dim sum restaurant. in Hong Kong.
The photography is by Jonathan Leijonhufvud.
Art direction and artistic curation: Louis Li – Black Star Pastry
Architect: line house
Design team: Alex Mok, Cherngyu Chen, Yeling Guo, Rongli Chen, Kaihang Zhou, Leah Lin
Levitating Cake Stand: march studio
Brand graphics: Studio Ongarato/Noritake
Commissioned artists: Olivia Steele, Naoko Ito, Rowan Corkhill, Debbie Lawson
Realization of works: PSU
Customer: black star pastry