Metal Hands RÃ©novation CafÃ© / DAGA Architects
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Text description provided by the architects. This project is located in Dajing Alley in Hangzhou City, which connects the densely populated Zhongshan Middle Road and Hefang Street. This alley has been located in the bustling central area since it was called Wushanfang in the days of the Southern Song Dynasty. The store is the pilot Metal Hands cafe run in Hangzhou City, which is a risky decision for the customer. How to integrate this brand of domestic specialty coffee from northern China into this historic southern city? This was the main challenge for the design team and the customer either. Considering preservation and integration with historic communities. We decided to abandon the sense of modernity and industrialization, to restore the elegant and tranquil scene of Song Dynasty life. To design a wabi-sabi cafÃ©-boutique in this modern and lively commercial spot.
Regarding the delicate lifestyle and philosophy of the Song people. We have delicately designed each program to mimic several banquet scenes in Song’s artwork, and opened it up along the street for the viewer to watch closely. The general details inside have been carefully designed to facilitate the aesthetics of the space.
The original faÃ§ade is set back 1.2m for exhibition purposes. The north facade of the first floor is replaced and glazed by opening glass doors and windows. The bar counter extends to the streets, creating a potential interaction between the interior and the exterior.
The three-bay facade on the west side becomes the main entrance to the store, it has been replaced by the folding door. The folding doors can open onto the small courtyard. The solid walls and windows on the second floor have also been replaced with bay windows. In which, it will bring more light when events take place in the future.
Because this is the pilot store in Hangzhou, we share the same idea that the store should fully integrate the characteristics of the local specialty. Our concept is to design a space with a feeling of calm and zen. Emphasize the humanistic and historical atmosphere through the vision and its atmosphere.
The bar counter is constructed of cut wood, this sharing counter favors customers and baristas interact with each other. The first floor is divided into the reception area and the operating area. In addition, to satisfy the efficient flow between consumers and staff. We did not choose the most used method of arranging classic seats and tables in the reception area. Instead, we have minimized the amount of seating and tables. Inspired by the traditional Chinese furniture that appears in Song paintings, the relaxed and comfortable posture of the Song people appears vividly. We decided to organize coffee tables and seating for people to relax.
In the vacant patio on the east side of the building, we line up the trees like landscape installations to create a mysterious and poetic spatial experience. The cafe appears to be surrounded by a forest on the side of the street.
Going up to the second floor of the store, it is a meditation space and a Zen room completely open. The floor is black stainless steel, reflecting the surrounding ancient architecture of Dajing Alley and the installation of the solemn tree on the other side. Over time, the epistemological philosophy and culture are inherited and perpetuate in the Metal Hands Coffee space.