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Baoism Restaurant in Shanghai by Linehouse

Olivier Hero Dressen

Baoism is a new food concept originated in Shanghai, making a modern version of the traditional Chinese street food guabao, served in a clamshell-like bun. Although the flavours are a modern interpretation, the age-old process of cooking in a traditional woven bamboo steamer is a prime focus of display in the kitchen. Local-based studio Linehouse took this traditional handicraft notion of weaving and applied it in a spatial way with a non-traditional material; perforated raw metal panels are woven between the structure that frame the dining area and the service area.


The branding for Baoism stemmed from the concept of ‘I Ching’, an ancient divination text and the oldest of the Chinese classics. The text of ‘I Ching’ is called ‘Zhou yi’. The basic unit of this is the hexagram, a figure composed of six horizontal lines, each line is either broken or unbroken.

Linehouse used this concept of stacked and directional lines to create two structures that frame the dining and the kitchen/service area. Custom lights float in-between the structure at high level, creating a broken rhythm above.


A datum line of bronze poles defines the lower half of the structure, with raw steel above. These two materials make a playful composition of rough vs. refined. Wood leaners extend out from the structure for guests to dine at. The bar counter is composed of dead wood, with 450mm x 450mm wood sections stacked upon each other. A burnt logo is branded into the front elevation of the wood.

The custom bar stool took reference from the petite wooden stools commonly seen on the street corners of Shanghai. A wooden handle extends out operating as a mechanism to move the stool and to hang one’s bag.

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main image © Olivier Hero Dressen – other images © Dirk Weiblen