Wutopia Lab has unveiled Mapoly Coffee, a new café on the first floor of the Shanghai Historical Museum’s West Building.
Drawing inspiration from the buzzing public squares of Europe, the space was fashioned akin to a piazza with many design conventions reinterpreted to reflect the aesthetics of Shanghai. “All these restrained decorations are markers of memories and symbolism of Shanghai,” says Wutopia Lab founder Yu Ting. “Scaling up this ‘piazza in a room,’ it is then my ideal city—Shanghai.”
Original façades remain intact and are echoed across the plaza-like café. A grand column commands the interior, repurposed to support a water feature, and links to a colonnade, a stage with a fireplace, and a glass box reminiscent of a balcony. Tiles sourced from stables unearthed during the renovation are inlaid upon the floors of the entry gallery. A horseshoe motif further references the bygone space, as do the arches of the colonnade in the backbar.
Handmade green bricks punctuate the takeout area, while the seating area complements the bar with black furnishings that contrast the neutral palette.