With the rapid growth of the ‘one-person’ urban population, business models and spaces that respond to the needs of single people are growing. If one of the major obstacles in the lives of today’s youth is “social phobia”, then “loneliness” is the accompanying “symptom”. J&Dragon Group has designed a themed pop-up shop, “Lonely Noodle Shop”, which attempts to soothe the “lonely” people in the city at night by using a bowl of noodles for a place experience.
Restaurant? Experience Shop? Exhibition Space?
Located on the 1st floor of Shanghai TX Huaihai, the Lonely Noodle Shop is only open from 8pm to 2am every night. As the slogan of the shop reads, “Give yourself a bowl of noodles to take a break from reality.” The Lonely Noodle Shop offers a time to heal the urban “lonely”. The limited operating hours, a golden message, a special experience and a “blind box show” prepared by the manager are all part of a journey to heal “loneliness”. A special operating strategy has given birth to a special space design. Compartments for one person only, surrounding a stage at the heart of the space. Here, a touching performance is presented and a bowl of “At least for tonight, you won’t be alone” is served to you.
An innovative experience
The overall façade of the shop is interspersed with polished metal scaffolding, as if the city were full of order, yet slightly cold. The stainless steel scaffolding installations at the entrance, together with the luminous light strips, form the only lighted interface on the street late at night.
The screen on the other side of the shop tells the city about the emotion of “loneliness” in the night through a paragraph of golden words that hit the heart.
Before entering the shop, meandering lines guide the waiting flow of people through the scaffolding, a small spatial constraint that evokes a psychological response and sets the stage for the next journey.
Entering the main space, the ‘lonely’ people with their numbered cards are gradually guided to the corresponding numbered rooms via linear strips of light in the aisles, a dimly lit journey that, between light and shadow, immerses the body and mind in the anticipation of the next journey.
The transition from the corridor to the separate eating area is presented in the form of a curved revolving door. When the door opens, the lights come on, illuminating a completely different space from the previous one. The healing green colour makes customers more comfortable and relaxed, immersing themselves in the atmosphere of the space and enjoying a bowl of noodles for a while.
The one-person booth seems to wrap the person in it, with music playing and an emotionally evocative greeting in front of the screen that immerses the body and mind, followed by a “Blind Box Show” session that culminates in an immersive experience through the window of the screen. The central stage space is a focused space. The top is a circular space that unites several private rooms. A bowl of noodles, a song and a performance that heals everyone who comes here.
During the two-month operation, the Lonely Noodle Shop has become one of the hot topics in Shanghai, attracting many young people through social media to experience it. With the rapid changes and innovations in the commercial space industry, experience will continue to be emphasized. This innovative case is a rare attempt, and the design will present more possibilities under the new business mode.
Project Name: Lonely Noodle Shop; Project Area: 138 Square Meters; Location: TX Huaihai, Xuhui; District, Shanghai; Completion Time: 2021; Design Firm: J&Dragon Group; Design Director: JASON CHAN; Chief Designer: ELLA; Interior Design: XIAO LEI, A BAO; Photography: CreatAR;