Since its inception in 2008, Black Star Pastry has made quite the splash in Australia.
Now, with its expansion into China, the franchise has looked to the future, figuratively and literally, with the futuristic feel of its Shanghai venture.
Designed by local studio Linehouse, the new cafe is the kind of ambitious statement you’d expect of a culinary icon who holds the title of ‘Australia’s most Instagrammed dessert’, the Strawberry Watermelon Cake.
Sitting within a redbrick villa, the ground floor is a coffee and pastry shop for Black Star. Enveloped in stainless steel shelving, the walls hold countless meteorites. The shelves stretch across the ceiling to create a series of arched forms that test the theories of gravity and weightlessness.
A countertop display holds a glass container that features nine levitating cakes, held up by magnetic levitation. The ground floor also has space to store coffee beans and Black Star apparel.
While the ground floor holds many of the day-to-day operables, a concrete terrazzo-clad stairwell transports guests to the Black Star Gallery, a dedicated dining hall. The ceiling of the dining hall features a metal grid, a clear differentiation from the arched ceiling of the ground floor. The floor is covered in roughcast concrete terrazzo tiles, giving it a robust character.
Able to be utilised as a tearoom throughout the day and a cocktail bar by night, the dining room features artworks by a quartet of international artists, that further the futuristic ideal of the entire building. A private room separate to the dining area features another bar, this time more intimate and secluded. Dubbed There There, the room features a deep blue colour palette, with a velvet curtain separating it from the dining room and an acid-etched blue metal bar offering a sense of elegance. The timber flooring of There There is a welcome contrast to the concrete seen within the other cafe spaces.
Linehouse has devised quite the space for Black Star, with three clearly distinct spaces that speak to the intent of the brand as they move into what is quite obviously a new beginning.