A professional resource for the design curious

Get the latest design news direct to your inbox!

Queen of parks: Neobio by X+Living

Fantastical worlds and life-sized fun, Neobio by X+Living is a children’s play centre with a difference – it also considers the parents.

If good design is for people, then great design anticipates its audience and creates user-responsive environments. In one of its latest projects, Neobio, the Shanghai-based architectural firm, X+Living, has designed a veritable wonderland of dining and play for parents looking to chill out and regroup while their children are otherwise occupied.

Recognising that public dining with children can be a hellish nightmare, X+Living has designed Neobio as a functional hospitality environment filled with imagination and whimsy. Located in the Minhang district of Shanghai, it is the dine-in version of an amusement park. Entering the main entrance, patrons find themselves ensconced in wavy forests and rolling hills (these are actually the bookshelves for the reading area, doubling as a place for kids to play hide-and-seek). Going beyond the simple coffee and cake option for parents, X+Living has designed a full service restaurant as well as an adult leisure and reading area – all within full view of the children.

In the Sims city area – an actual miniature city – an urban road system calls up roads, zebra crossings, street lamps and parking lots. Meanwhile, a three-storey house entices children into delightful role-play with a mini post office, gas station, supermarket and hospital.

For the big kids, a climbing area draws slides and climbing racks together to form a huge maze. The most eye-catching component, perhaps, is an S-shaped slide which transports kids down into the first-floor dining area. In the basement is the party room where themes such as Indian, desert and Mediterranean transport partygoers into parallel universes. Here, fictional king and queen chairs are designed into every party room, making children the heroes of their own parties.

Sure, Neobio is a totally Instagrammable space that has that initial ‘spectacle factor’. However, X+Living has taken this space beyond simply looking cool and developed a highly responsive interior that works for two very different sets of people. It’s intelligent, functional, fun, and boy… is it something to look at!

Photography courtesy X+Living.

We think you would also like Nubo, another kind of fun for kids with a design aesthetic. And join our mailing list for the latest news straight to your inbox.

INDESIGN is on instagram

Follow @indesignlive

The Indesign Collection

A searchable and comprehensive guide for specifying leading products and their suppliers

Indesign Our Partners

Keep up to date with the latest and greatest from our industry BFF's!

Related Stories

While you were sleeping

The internet never sleeps! Here's the stuff you might have missed