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WEEKLY FEATURE: International Restaurant Design Series

6th Jun 2013
Zebar - 3 header
ZeBar, Shanghai, China

ZeBar, Shanghai, China

Built with white epoxy, black concrete, plywood, plasterboard – and Rhino nurbs (3D modeling software), ZeBar is a cave-like bar/dining space assembled from a digital Boolean subtraction of hundreds of slices extracted from an ‘amorphousness blob’. The space looks as  simple as the technique to construct it sounds complex, but it was a scheme born naturally from the Italian based designers, 3Gatti, experimentation in digital 3D modeling environments.

Zebar - 1By giving the digital model to a factory, it could have been easily CNC (numeric control machines) milled even though each section is different from the next, but instead the work is done by projecting the sections into plaster-board and then cutting them manually. The architect calls it “a digital design built into an analog world”.

This project was born in 2006 when a Singaporean movie director and an ex-musician from the south of China decided to open a live bar in Shanghai.

Zebar 5

The construction was incredibly fast,  finished in a couple of months, but the clients didn’t have any business plan and the site remained closed for 3 years finally completing and opening in 2010.

We think there is a chance that the stripes could possibly bring on a headache or refocus your eyes permanently on the middle distance, but it certainly is a bold and innovative design.


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