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Baobao Restaurant in Shanghai by Linehouse

Olivier Hero Dressen and Dirk Weiblen

Chinese studio Linehouse was commissioned to create a new branded architectural language for BAOBAO, the first of many stores to line the streets of China and the US, selling the traditional Chinese street food baozi – steamed bread buns filled with meat, vegetable or sweet stuffings.

Linehouse created a spatial narrative that married with the brands ethos: from garden to plate, using the freshest vegetables in handcrafted baozi. In doing so they played with the concept of inserting a glass greenhousebuilding for the exhibition and growth of plants.

Linehouse proposed a series of house frameworks. The chefs occupy the greenhouse and their performance of rolling, handcrafting and steaming the baozi is framed by this insertion. At high level, a shelf wraps the framework with drooping greenery and branded icons stamped on the back surface. At lower level a high leaner also wraps the structure, with hanging lights allowing guests to linger and observe the activities within the kitchen.

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The greenhouse is composed of hand glazed green tiles, two tones of wood and glass. This house extends out to the street, operating as a leaner for guests, and further framing the activities within to the exterior.

The cashier/service area plays on the idea of a wheelbarrow and garden tools, allowing the menu boards to hang from above. Bluestone cobbles line the floor in the customer area creating a sense of the garden path, and the streetscape beyond. Two leaner tables sit adjacent to the greenhouse. Wood panels rest on a framework, with white metal threading through to become a mechanism for the lights to hang upon.

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Linehouse was also commissioned to develop the branding and graphics for BAOBAO. Bold graphics of a wandering pig, a family of vegetables from the garden and BAOBAO are repetitively stamped on the adjacent glass. The BAOBAO logo is embossed in a darker tone of wood into a pivoting panel on the façade and a wood cut out logo is displayed on the shelf on the exterior.

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all images © Olivier Hero Dressen and Dirk Weiblen | H/t designboom