hcreates designs Cobra Lily around a mysterious femme fatale

“Who is Cobra Lily?” enquires the flickering neon sign as guests enter the hip eatery in Shanghai’s popular Xintandi complex. We thought you'd never ask. For those of you who haven’t been privy to designer Hannah Churchill’s Pan-Asian restaurant fare, Cobra Lily was designed with a mysterious femme fatale in mind. The space embodies a visual journey through her day and the various clandestine locales where she rubs shoulders with enigmatic strangers.

It’s no surprise that Churchill, the head designer at hcreates, operates under the principle that, “design should be simple, fun, and clever.” Her ethos is mirrored in the design of Cobra Lily, the space harmoniously merges crumbling, antiquated architecture and raw concrete with sleek finishes, creating a vibrant interior with contagiously playful spirit.

Keeping the original, decorative archways from the early 1900’s intact, patrons enter the eatery through a secret alleyway that gives way to a bar and lounge area. The dramatic entrance is heightened (both literally and metaphorically) by a two-story atrium complete with floating DJ booth. Lounge and dining areas spring from the entrance, creating private pockets for what could be surreptitious, hush-hush dealings. Or the standard post-work cocktail. No one knows but Cobra Lily. Restrooms are positioned at the end of a long, dark corridor, delineated with secret agent themes. We’d expect nothing less.

Photography courtesy of: Seth Powers

Cobra Lily entrance
Cobra Lily Shanghai
Cobra Lily bar
Cobra Lily bar
Cobra Lily tap
Cobra Lily hallway
Cobra Lily restroom