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China Lane by Loop Creative

This new addition to the China Doll family enjoys a rich, cinematically inspired interior. Owen Lynch reports.

China Lane by Loop Creative


August 28th, 2012

As its name would suggest, China Lane is found tucked away in one of Sydney’s revitalised CBD laneways.

By day, a densely populated area, the location is a far cry from China Doll on Woolloomooloo’s Finger Wharf and the China Beach venture, ocean-side in Manly, Sydney.

Loop Creative’s Rod Faucheux explains that the opportunity to create an urban Asian ambience appealed immediately – An interior that would draw on contemporary pop culture references rather than fall into a thematic, all-too-familiar, Asian aesthetic.

Faucheux credits Wong Kar-Wai’s futuristic Chinese-language film ’2046’ as a key influence, based in-part on it’s reinterpretation of 1950’s styling with a strong emphasis on colour and punchy use of neon.

In a nod to the financial and legal district in which the 150 seat restaurant sits, there are also strong references to the current television hit: Mad Men – where the set design of fictitious law firm Sterling Cooper Draper Price is also cited as inspiration.

Pulling this blend together cohesively has been a considered process with Loop Creative engaged to create a complete dining experience across the interiors, 3D projections, signage, graphics and branding.

Internally, China Lane turns on the charm. Her vintage, restored Parker Dining Chairs have been sourced to sit alongside custom-made vinyl banquettes beneath contemporary lighting from the likes of Tom Dixon and Kartell. Antique Chinese doors and waiter’s station are a subtle nudge reminding us that equal star-power here goes to the Asian fusion menu.

Externally, within the context of the City of Sydney commissioned art installation ’Forgotten Songs’ (a canopy of birdcages suspended overhead), Loop have proposed a permanent vivid-style image series that would be projected onto the rear of the building opposite the eatery. These plans currently sit before council.

In all, the presentation is a sleek one. Where China Doll and her sister restaurants have always erred away from the traditional design approach, China Lane raises the bar again.

’We were thinking “Shanghai meets Mad Men” but we’ll let you decide.’ says Faucheux.


Loop Creative


China Lane


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