Four Seasons Hotel - Shang-Xi, Pudong Shanghai

As China’s most cosmopolitan city, Shanghai is celebrated for its contemporary glamour, boldness and elegance. AB Concept has reflected and reinterpreted those qualities in its graceful design of Shàng-Xí, the buzzed-about Chinese restaurant within Four Seasons Hotel Pudong, Shanghai.

Reinforcing AB Concept’s ability to capture a sense of place and offer a fresh perspective, the design draws on Shanghai’s rich history by combining the architectural forms of Shanghai’s neoclassical buildings within the French concession with traditional Chinese motifs.

Acknowledging that this is a city known for grandiose expressions of wealth, AB Concept has tempered Shanghai-style flamboyance with a sense of refinement. Reinterpreting neoclassical style, Shàng-Xí’s soaring ceilings, bronze finishes and marble interiors suggest European opulence. To counter the sumptuousness with subtlety, sino-centric motifs, shapes and colours hint at oriental glamour while the deco-inspired furnishings reveal AB Concept’s appreciation for timeless elegance.

Discreet and exclusive, Shàng-Xí comprises five private dining rooms and an intimate public space for 22 guests. Inspired by traditional Chinese cultural icons, AB Concept has designed each room to evoke the colours and qualities of a rare semi-precious stone.

The reception features beige parchment panels complemented with bold bronze accents and jade inserts, leading to two full-length mirrored doors. Beyond the entrance, guests step into an expansive corridor finished in mosaic titles, its walls lined with hand-painted silks. AB Concept shaped the recessed ceiling with Chinese bat motifs and a Celestial cloud, a traditional Chinese symbols that represent prosperity, happiness and longevity and recur throughout the restaurant.

Artfully designed with privacy and luxury as the guiding concepts, Shàng-Xi’s six dining rooms are destined to be Shanghai’s premier venues for high-powered lunches, exclusive gatherings and intimate celebrations.

The individual dining rooms – named Tiger Eye, Pearl, Amber, Agate, Jade and Purple Jade – radiate from this central corridor. Inspired by the auspicious character and luxury of the semi-precious stones, each salon is distinguished by its own palette and design narrative. Within each private space, the doors, furniture and walls are inlaid with the room’s namesake stone.

Tiger Eye, the public dining area, is the largest of the individual salons. Accommodating up to 22 guests, AB Concept designed this room to take full advantage of the full-length windows and breathtaking views of Shanghai. Embodying the spirit of classic French design, the room’s double-height doors, cloud-shaped chandelier, marble pillars and textured carpets capture a sense of elegance.

The Pearl private dining room employs a masculine scheme of dark timbers, heavy velvet fabrics and confident splashes of purple. Anchored by the 10-seater dining table, a recamier sofa runs parallel to the full-length window while Deco-inspired lighting fixtures frame the room.

The Amber and Agate dining rooms can each welcome up to 10 guests. Since Shàng-Xi will be the venue of choice for discerning diners, political leaders and business executives, the restaurant’s interiors needed to reflect a dignified grace. Yet AB Concept has skillfully struck a delicate balance, imbuing the space with an elegant yet warm atmosphere. While the Amber and Agate dining rooms express stately elegance, their sun-kissed shades of gold offset by timber accents project a vitality and natural energy.

Embracing the traditional qualities of their namesake stones, the Jade and Purple Jade dining rooms convey serenity, prosperity, grace and glamour. While both salons seat twelve, Jade benefits from its corner position, allowing space for a private lounge area and highlighting the views of the surrounding greenery. Bronze finishes add warmth to the jade palette while the ceiling, inlaid with mother-of-pearl panels, introduces a new texture.

As purple is the rarest colour of jade, this spacious room is suitably opulent with its rich fabrics, eclectic artifacts and a striking custom-made light fixture that evokes Deco style.

To enhance Shàng-Xi’s home-like setting, AB Concept has also created intimate transitional spaces – verandahs and alcoves – between the private dining rooms.