January 6, 2016

Yu Geng Shan Private Cellar: 2015 BoY Winner for Bar/Lounge

Forget about rice wine. China has begun to worship the grape. International vintages are trending. What’s more, Kyle Lawrence Mertensmeyer notes, “Even China’s own wine-making culture is picking up.” He’s a partner in a firm that supplies inspirations and designs for cellarage.

One of Mertensmeyer’s most elaborate installations yet is in a wine-friendly port city that spares oenophiles high taxes. The specific location is a former bunker beneath what was once the British consulate—built in 1887 on a grand square and recently revamped as a wine club. Today that 27,000-square-foot subterranean space holds 1,000 storage lockers, rented to members.

Steel racks give the rows of bottle tops a pointillist allure. Granite rubble, produced by minor additional excavations for circulation as well as storage, is now caged to create interest on walls and a vaulted ceiling. One VIP room centers on a chalicelike platform that offers a bird’s-eye view of the surrounding collection. Wine barrels are another decorative motif. Finally, there’s a special spot for toasting the wedding anniversaries of couples who were married upstairs in the club.

Project Team: 

Xue Yin Li; Matthew Shields; Danielle Gharst; Xu Hang; Eve Xia.

> See more from the December 2015 issue of Interior Design

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