The interior of the Rachel’s Burger restaurant, designed by Shanghai darlings, Neri & Hu, was minimalistic, with stainless steel, high tables and swivel stools. However, this design concept was not popular with the local crowd who found it hard to balance on their high stools whilst losing themselves in the miraculous moment when patty hits mouth. Pecol listened to his guests, and completely renovated the space this year.
Restaurateur Franck Pecol of Franck Bistro has branched out from classic French cuisine to a bakery, then a taco bar, and now a burger shop. The space takes cues from a New York style diners with a sleek, minimalist aesthetic. Burgers follow suit. They’re studies in simplicity with an eye for detail when it comes to ingredients. It’s a scratch house that bakes its own buns twice daily, grinds its own beef, cuts its own potato fries, even makes its own pickles.
- Neri&Hu added bold tiles and an angular roof that overhangs a foldable glazed facade To make this Shanghai restaurant feel like a retro American diner.
- The seating is exclusively swivel-stools, fixed either to the floor or the table. Tables are all high-tops, with niches cut out. That’s where your old-school sheet metal service tray fits snugly. Nearly all of the windows fold up accordion style, giving the place a quasi al fresco vibe when the weather is nice.
- Inside, mirrored panels help give the compact structure a bit of visual lift, creating an illusion of more space than there is on hand. For an added sense of airiness, the pavilion’s glass walls and be totally folded up, accordion-style, to open the dining area up to the outside.
Drawing inspiration from the American drive up burger joints of the 1950’s, the restaurant was envisioned as a porous space where the boundaries between inside and outside are blurred.
The exterior walls can be fully opened to further extend the perceived and actual boundaries of the restaurant.
When fully closed, however, a clever combination of clear and textured glass along with mirror are used to great effect to visually extend the boundaries of the space while bringing light, views and streetscape deep into the interior.
The dematerialization of the walls is further emphasized by the dominance of the horizontal planes.
The roof structure seemingly floats above the space while the floor rises and falls to support the custom eating and seating surfaces, integrating communal tables with pivoting benches accommodating for individual or group dining flexibility.
Project name: Rachel’s Burger
Location: 202 Wukang Road, Xuhui District, Shanghai, China
Coordinates: 31.207718, 121.440038
Type: Restaurant / Coffee shop / Cafe
Project Area: approx 90 sqm
Completion Year: 2016