Conceptual Image: Shadow Play


Seoul, Korea. Completed 1996


The layout of this intimate bar provides a few compartmentalized spaces based on the user’s needs and durations of their stay: bar seating for owner’s private visitors, central open table seating for short term stays, a lounge area for long term stays and a curtained seating area for privacy. The raised bar behind a metallic bead curtain acts as a stage for being seen and seeing through. Indirect lighting and mirrors as a back drop, seaters would be seen as silhouettes through the bead curtain, creating an effect similar to Chinese shadow play. The program required  limited access to both outside view and natural light, in order to achieve an ethereal and timeless atmosphere. Reflective surfaces such as varnished walls, mirrored stainless steel panels for the ceiling, walls or the bar tops blur and distort the reflected images and lights which adds illusionary ambience to the space. Strong contrast in colors and bold graphic patterns combined with indirect lighting  maximize the effect of the mirage.