Emotional Prologue: Coloratus Bar


Coloratus Bar, designed by Soong Lab+, is located on the second floor of a hotel in Beijing, China. The office describes the project as follows:

A courtyard-style hot spring resort hotel will be opened in an aesthetic creative park outside the North Fifth Ring Road of Beijing. Its architecture, interior and landscape are all designed by Soong Lab+. Coloratus Bar, located on the second floor of the hotel room zone, is the first small experience space completed in the whole project. It is showing its vitality with unique tension. The staircase leading to the bar entrance connects the main corridor of the hotel rooms, and also leads directly to the hot spring area. The characteristic of this moving line makes the operation of the bar flexible and diversified, which can not only serve the guests of the hotel in the future, but also can open to the public at a specific time.

The mood of red brings original vitality
Red is one of the earliest colors recognized and used by humans. Layers of red sediment on the rock are from time immemorial; Cave men used to sprinkle dark red hematite powder at the sacrificial ceremony; Stone Age ancestors painted pottery with red paint to celebrate light. The Liangzhou red flower in ancient Chinese books explains the romantic nature of red... But now, when we talk about red, it's not just about the material, it's also about the emotions.

Primitive vitality is the mood of ‘red’. Soong Lab+ takes ‘red’ as the design theme of Coloratus Bar, hoping to stimulate the wild energy of the place from the inside out through the abstract emotion concept, and guide visitors to explore the correlation between the space, emotion expression and themselves. Meanwhile, it takes this place as the prologue for the beginning of everything.

Between finite and infinite tension The original site of this bar has plenty of height space with some high windows, but the area is almost a narrow passage. In this limited and special plan, how to construct a rich experience, while expressing the emotional concept of ‘red’, are the questions that the director Wang Songtao needs to think about and sort out.

By adding floors and controlling scales, the original site ‘grows’ into a double-storey space with a small double height area. At the end of the first floor is a staircase hall, which serves as a vertical passage between the two floors. The staircase hall adopts plenty of metal tubes through ordered arrangement to form an ‘screen’, which not only ensures the safety of passage, but also provides a special pass experience. Under the shelter of this ‘screen’, visitors complete the emotional transformation from the first floor to the second, that is, from a quiet space to an expansive area, feeling abundant natural light and a wide view.

The bar counter area with double height eliminates the isolation between floors and enhances the interaction between the upper and lower. At the same time, the pouring down natural light from the second floor brings changes to the bar area at different times, and also makes visitors have different emotional feelings. Except for drinking, the first floor mainly supports the moving lines, while the second floor is relatively immersed, and can stay for a long time.

On the second floor, the building's original long windows give natural light and a city view back to visitors. The surrounding colonnades form several secondary spaces, which remain transparent through layers. They are like ‘containers of light’ that echo the long windows, creating different light and shadow experiences. At the end of the second floor, behind a hollowed brick wall, the noise gradually receded, there is a semi-closed area that provides more choices for visitors, and is more suitable for a small gathering.

Wine brews mellow, and Coloratus Bar delivers fragrance in the ‘red’ space. The simple color itself, can create direct sensory impact and shock. People's experiences and feelings are transformed and condensed into the emotional power here with the original vitality, and then send out a more attractive fragrance.