Situated within the prestigious Three on the Bund, Mercato is the first of renowned chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Shanghai restaurants to serve an upscale yet rustic Italian fare. Neri&Hu’s design for the 1,000 square meter restaurant draws not only from the chef’s culinary vision but also from the rich historical context of its locale, harkening to early 1900s Shanghai, when the Bund was a bustling industrial hub.
Stripping back the strata of finishes that have built up after years of renovations, the design concept celebrates the beauty of the bare structural elements. Three on the Bund was the first building in Shanghai to be built out of steel, and the architects’ decision to reveal the original steel columns pays homage to this extraordinary feat. Against the textured backdrop of the existing brickwork, concrete, plaster and mouldings, new insertions are clearly demarcated. Constantly playing the new against the old, Neri&Hu’s design is a reflection of the complex identity of not only the historical Bund, but of Shanghai at large. Duet Chair and Solo Bar Stool by Neri&Hu are used throughout.
Photo credit: Pedro Pegenaute