Gamay Winery, Luoyang

As I say very often, I like to think of Chiara’s Coffee Table as a showcase: for me, for who I am and for the things that I like, and for all the interesting people I meet, their stories, their passions and their creations. In this particular post, the two aspects are mixed up – the project I’m going to write about is a plan for a wine bar in Luoyang, China I developed last year.


Together with Giulia Fortunato from Rcfzero e Laura Peretti from Studio Insito I worked on this small but extraordinary challenging wine bar design and renovation, owned by a friend of a friend of mine. The owner’s business is related to importing quality wine from France to China, and he was looking into creating a reception place, where he could invite his business partners and clients to taste and enjoy his products. In the same building, upstairs, are the corporate offices and meeting rooms.

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The space was grey and featureless, so our first concern was about finding the way to make it a unique and interesting multifunctional area.

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The room meant to become the wine bar was situated in a newly built shopping mall in the outskirts of the city: here the main attraction (and only one!) is shopping. This is why we felt the need to distinguish the wine bar from the rest of the shops and to make it clearly visible and recognizable from the street in order to attract passers-by: the only way was thinking of a special façade.

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The idea of the façade came out very easily from wine itself! We literally brought the wine bottles from the wine cellar to the shop window, so that they could overlook the street and be a divider between the busy world outside and the intimate and cozy space of the winery inside.

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In the façade, bottles and glasses are made of mirrored stainless steel: they reflect the landscape outside and become very suggestive at sunset. Also, bottles rotate around a fixed pivot, producing a jalousie that, if necessary, can reduce introspection: you just ‘close’ or ‘open’ the façade by rotating bottles & glasses if you want the interior of the wine bar to be seen from outside, or not.

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The interior lay out and set-up followed. As one of the requirements from our client was to be quick in the realization of the bar, no demolition could be done. We decided to leave the front area for reception and quick wine tasting, and to create a VIP room in the back area of the bar.

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By doing so, we could arrange in a very small bar two different spaces with no change in the walls layout; in this way our client would be able to meet the requirements of different types of clients and host even two events in the bar at the same time.


We characterized the space by using big and translucent lamps and contemporary furniture; traditional lacquered red was chosen as the color to be used for the walls in order to meet authentic Chinese tradition and to have a warm ambience; finally, vertical mirrors were extensively used in order to amplify and lighten the space. The result was luminous and really captivating!

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We imagined the VIP room as a cozy space similar to a private living room. Here,  diffused and intimate light accompanies wine tasting while you sit on the sofa and chat with your business partners or friends after work.

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Music, art, food and wine would create the perfect atmosphere for a cozy and relaxed evening.

Bacco by Caravaggio

We even thought about the storage of wine bottles – and it was a real challenge for us! Our proposals ranged from very simple, custom made wood wine shelves to organic shapes that suggested the idea of wine through that of grapes, made with perforated metal in order to keep bottles horizontally. We really tried to make this winery special, using traditional Chinese elements and color palette and mixing them with European know-how and personal signature.

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L’anno scorso, insieme a Giulia Fortunato e a Laura Peretti, ho lavorato ad un progetto per un piccolo wine bar a Luoyang. Abbiamo combinato elementi di design contemporaneo, vetro e specchio, con una pezzi di arredamento più’ tradizionali, divani in pelle e scaffalature in legno. Il risultato e’ uno spazio multifunzionale, caldo ed accogliente, dove Liu, il proprietario, può’ incontrare i suoi business partners, ed invitarli ad assaggiare il vino che importa dalla Francia.


During the survey in Luoyang I was delighted to wear:

White shirt & shorts: Zara

Flats: Prada

Foulard: Hermes


The pictures in this post were taken a long time ago with Giorgio’s Leica C-Lux 2, before my blog adventure started.

For all the images related to the project, special thanks to Rcfzero.

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