Kokaistudios is an award-winning architecture and interior design firm founded in 2000 in Venice by Italian architects Filippo Gabbiani & Andrea Destefanis. Headquartered in Shanghai since 2002, the company has grown into a multi-cultural firm of 40 people working on a global scale with projects in Asia, the Middle East, Europe and North America.
Kokaistudios partners with its clients to collaboratively develop innovative and ground breaking projects in diverse fields of design. Primarily focused on developing cultural, corporate, commercial, hospitality & retail projects, the team has also worked extensively on urban regeneration projects involving the requalification of heritage locations. Kokaistudios aims to develop projects that add positively to the built environment and social fabric of the cities and countries in which they are located.
Shake is a retro-chic soul music club and fine dining venue tailor designed by Kokaistudios drawing inspiration from sights and sounds of the era that spawned Soul Music.
Located on the top floor of a recently renovated low-rise building on Maoming Road in the historical center of Shanghai; Shake has quickly become one of the city’s hottest night-time joints.
The team behind the project are the owners of Heyday; one of Shanghai’s most respected Jazz clubs; and they approached Kokaistudios after having seen several of our previous F&B projects. We were immediately interested in the project due to their vision and passion for great music and for creating a new type of night-time experience. As lovers of soul music ourselves we embarked on a highly collaborative journey to create a space that authentically paid homage to the spirit of the Soul era while being attractive and appealing to the Shanghai market.
Upon stepping in the front door of Shake, visitors are invited to travel back in time into an environment similar to a soul music super-club in 1960’s New York. The marble bar counter is one of the central poles of the space; its fluid shape is aesthetically pleasing to guests, and with uneven floor heights, guests at both the front and the back areas of the bar all have unblocked sight line of both the stage and the bar area while having front row seats on the work of the team of mixologists.
The undulating golden wave panels on the ceiling connect the bar to the stage, which forms the heart of the project. The panels fill both an aesthetic and acoustical role to filter and distribute the sound emanating from the stage around the club. The stage was designed to be able to host a full Soul band including piano and a horn section and the decision was taken to design the stage level with the main floor so as to create a sense of intimacy between the band and the audience; either to be serenaded while eating or else up and close while dancing. This focus on intimacy and the primacy of the musical experience led us to design a club with multiple floor levels in which every seat; from 2 person high tables to the banquettes; has clear sight lines to the stage so as to let the audience feel involved in the show. Due to the client decision to only have music 3 nights a week we created a sliding door system that covers the stage and also a full DJ setup for spinning music the other nights of the week.
Kokaistudios custom designed the FF&E and developed the lighting systems to enhance both the musical experience but also the innovative food experience featuring a customized Asian tapas menu designed by culinary artist Danyi and an extensive selection of top notch cocktails by mixologist Colin Tait. In Shanghai’s competitive nightlife scene, Shake stands out with its sophisticated combination of world class Soul music and innovative dining & drinking. Elegant enough to attract a high-end clientele but designed to allow them to let their hair loose and cut a move on the dance-floor. Shake is a new milestone in Kokaistudios’ practice of creating bespoke F&B environments and we are proud to add to Shanghai’s ever expanding list of innovative night-life destinations.
Location: No. 46, Maoming Rd.
Size: 250 sqm
Interior Designer: Kokaistudios
Photography: Seth Powers
Completion: July 2016