Grand Banks Restaurant

Chris Shao Studio brought an old world charm with a modern sophistication to the Grand Banks Restaurant inviting guests to dream beyond their tastebuds.

  • area / size 3,444 sqft
  • Year 2021
  • Location Shanghai, China,
  • Type Restaurant,
  • Standing in front of the restored Brunner Mond Building, the ethereal and distant vision of transitioning away from the abstract became concrete. This is our stage, where a prologue to the new story of Grand Banks is presented.

    In 1921, Brunner Mond, a foreign bank engaged in the soap business, bought the land on the south side intersection of Sichuan, and Fuzhou Road. This land later became the headquarters of Brunner Mond in China. The Building was created in a neoclassical style, with characteristic three horizontal columns in its facade. These columns along with the bronze cast iron gate, imitation stone facade, French windows, and lost sculpture of Atlanta, all pay homage to the golden age of Shanghai, when East encountered West.

    Since then, the former foreign bank has changed owners and undergone many rounds of repair and renovation giving us today’s Brunner Building, completed in 2019. By continually referencing the building’s archives and images of different historical periods, the two-year project aimed to revitalize the historical building, enhancing its overall appearance through repairing and restoring damaged carvings in accordance with the heritage regulations of minimum intervention, reversibility and integrity. “The greatest charm of the architectural complex in the Bund”, Chris Shao shares in his own words, “is that alongside the historical weights they possessed, these old buildings are also waiting for the inscription of contemporary souls and meanings”. In the old neighborhood, where the atmosphere of metropolis intertwines with civil life, and history meets humanistic spirits, Grand Banks is born.

    Through design, the tale of prosperity, gold, and jadeite is spoken. Vintage blackish-green and copper tones are used for the bar, alongside meticulously preserved wooden structures and veneers. A natural and light ambiance is created through stone carvings on the ceiling, Chinoiserie-style wallpapers, fine textured fabrics, and use of silver cutlery. Through maintaining a sense of ritual as you relax yourself, we hope Grand Banks will bring you back to the splendid past of golden-age Shanghai. As a hub for sharing, meeting and relaxing in the modern city, Grand Banks welcomes the young and bold future dreamers from all walks of life to come, nourish and indulge their taste buds, and expand their minds to beyond.

    Design: Chris Shao Studio
    Photography: Zhu Hai