Playboy Club Shanghai
This 60,000 sf entertainment facility in Shanghai was designed as Playboy’s first entry into the Asian market. The facade is a glass scrim utilizing Playboy’s iconic logo to create sensous forms on the facade that become animated only at night.
The program of the entertainment club seeks to accommodate three levels of cliental experiencing the building: general public, v.i.p. members, and v.v.i.p. members. The general public is provided a vast entrance providing access to the whiskey bar and grand stair leading up to the main disco level. The v.i.p.’s enter through a highly visible door just outside the whiskey bar and are provided a private path to the ‘monolith’- a private circulation core for all v.i.p. and v.v.i.p.’s to move through the club. In contrast to the public and v.i.p. entrance, the v.v.i.p.’s enter the club unnoticed through a silent Chinese garden. Once in the garden they slip directly into the ‘monolith’ and proceed to the 5th floor where they find awaiting them a warm welcome of their favorite drink and an escort to their private room.
Central to the concept of this 4400 square foot Spa is the idea that, as in a traditional Chinese garden, the visitor escapes the pressures of the outside world, enters a peaceful, meditative alternate reality, and then returns to regular life rejuvenated, mentally, spiritually, and physically. The Spa is a continuation of the garden which runs along the side of the building, and incorporates within it two major elements of Chinese garden design, stone (shan) and water (shui). Men and women occupy separate halves of the spa, divided by a translucent glass and water wall, which affords privacy while subtly hinting at the presence of others within the space. This wall, running the length of the spa, extends into the main lobby and into the garden, linking the spa pools, the outdoor water features, as well as water features within the lobby.
(Completed by Chip von Weise while Design Principal at 4240 Architecture)