甲方需求 | Customer Demand
Stairs as a way of sitting
At the beginning of the project, the ideas from boss of 21gram were very clear. To highlight the essence of the cafe he hoped that the barista should be the center in this space and provide better services. At the same time, 21gram showed the strong interest of stepped seats, and this type of component has been shown many times to the architect.
▼咖啡馆室内概览，overview of the coffee ©林永晨
设计条件 | Design conditions
Messy chaotic structural beams in space
A narrow space ratio with the 16 meters long and 4 meters wide
▼顶面仰视图，top vertical plan ©所在设计研究社
The structural beam in the original space has a direct relationship with the upper building space, but it brings a complicated situation for this commercial space. However, it doesn’t mean that the situation cannot be reversed under those adverse conditions. We provided the “skylight” into the space by a trick of ceiling treatment. A sloped wall extends downward from where the light enters and stops at the position of “2.4 meters high” as our expectation. Right below this “patio” is the bar counter and barista.
▼咖啡制作区，上方的顶灯创造出一个“天窗”，the bar counter, above which there is a “skylight” made of the top light ©林永晨
台阶要解决的问题 | The problem of the steps
How to sit?
concept diagram of the seating area ©所在设计研究社
How to get to the storage and toilet? The steps not only raise the height at which people sit down in this space, but also create a sense of centrality of the bar. Through the rise of the steps, the bar has become a stage. Putting the quality of service and specialty coffee as the center doesn’t mean to exclude the customer from this space, but the visualization process of customers as the main service object of the space. Customers can visually enjoy the service and the coffee making process, and returning to self at this moment.
▼从座位区看咖啡馆室内，台阶创造出了吧台的中心感，interior view of the coffee from the seating area, steps create a sense of centrality of the bar ©罗联璧
▼座位区，台阶抬高了人们在这个空间坐下来的高度，the seating area, steps raise the height at which people sit down in this space ©罗联璧
▼座椅区局部，partial view of the seating area ©林永晨
建筑立面的材料思考 | Material thinking of building façade
当设计团队在进行立面设计的过程中，我们遇到了一个难题：当我们需要一个更为亲和外部空间又必须创造一个立面的厚度时，公共性的要如何表达？因为决定使用便宜又耐候的水泥纤维板，材料的厚度也必然会成为建筑形式表达的一部分。而45度倒角的材料处理因为工艺和对材料的韧性要求过高，而不列入考虑当中。材料的厚度会被表现，由哪一个面的材料正面来压哪一个面的材料侧边就成为了这个立面上最需要思考的选项：1.正立面的材料正面压侧面材料的侧边；2. 侧立面的材料正面压正立面的侧边；3. 正立面和侧立面交替压对方。为了提升立面厚度的公共性，让材料的交接构造形成无方向感，无等级化的形式表达方式，设计团队选择了选项3的构造方式。从而打造出没有因为正立面或者侧立面产生的等级关系，从而让立面的公共性的传递更为平顺。
We encountered a problem when we were in the process of designing the facade: How do we express publicity when we need a more intimate space but the thickness of the façade is still necessary? Because of the cheap and weatherable cement fiberboard which we decided to use, the thickness of the material will inevitably become part of the architectural form. The 45-degree chamfer material treatment is not considered because of the high requirements of the process and the toughness of the material. Because the thickness of the material will be expressed, which side is pressed by another side has become the most important option when considering on this facade: 1. The front face of the material presses the side face. 2. The material of the side face presses the side of the front face; 3. The front face and the side face alternately press each other. In order to enhance the commonality of the façade and make the connection structure of the material a non-directional and non-hierarchical form of expression, the design team chose the third construction method. Under this way, there is no hierarchical relationship caused by the facade or the side facade, so to make transmission of the publicity of facade more smooth.
This kind of material construction mode does not form the intention of masonry by imitating the construction mode of masonry materials, but it’s a principle from the thinking discussed above. There are not a few cases of this construction method, and they are concentrated in southern European countries such as Spain and Portugal.
▼建筑主立面及其细节，the main facade and its details ©罗联璧
项目遗憾 | Project regrets
The edge of the patio was not lowered to 2.4m as the architect expected. Client has reserved opinions on the design of titanium plate and U-groove of titanium plate. The biggest debate in the middle of the project is the height of the lower edge of the “patio” on the top of the bar from the ground. We insisted on the height of 2.4m. 2.4m is a very interesting height. It will form a kind of fuzzy body perception. At our height, it cannot be touched at this distance, but also have a sense of expectation that it is about to encounter, and the height gradually rises on both sides. It can be said that 2.4m is a point. In this process of perception, the observer gradually transits from the height of 3 meters to the height of 2.4 meters in the bar area, and the center of the bar suddenly rises to the height of 6 meters, then suddenly drops to 2.4 meters, and then continue to rise when reaches the position of step. Such a process is endowed with the perception of “ambiguous” at the 2.4 meters and establishes a sensory connection with the body. While client 21 and his friends think that the height of this point should be at least 3 meters to avoid “stinginess” or “shortness”. In the constant explanation and debate, the compromise of 2.7 meters has become almost the last instruction of client. We continued push the project in regret, but 2.7 meters which beyond 2.4 meters is no different from 3 meters, which ultimately leaves the architect irreparable regret. It can be seen from the biggest regret of 21gram coffee project that the accuracy of architectural design in the body perception is intended to create a sense of strangeness in the cognition of common sense, it needs the absolute trust and courage from client.
▼一层平面图，1F plan ©所在设计研究社
Project Name: 21gram coffee
Project type: Cafe
Architect: atelier sootsai
Company: Sootsai Xiamen Architectural Design Consulting Co., Ltd
Customer: 21gram coffee
Address: 2-116 Hexiang West Road, Siming District, Xiamen City, Fujian Province, China
Business and project management: Lin Wanxi
Senior Architect: Shi Lei
Design team: Shi lei, lin Wanxi
Photographer: Lin Yongchen and Luo Lianbi
Project year: 2017
Building area: 50 ㎡
Stone supply and production: Huang Yuhui
Logo design: Wu Kaihua
Lamp body film production: Luo Yonghong
Materials: ceramic tile, exterior wall coating, marble Carrara white, paint free ecological board, titanium board, cold bending titanium board U-shaped groove, cement calendering, red oak log wood, glass, steel type paint handle, cement fiberboard, LED light belt, spotlight, light film
Structural Consultant: Xiao Zuhui
Construction cost: RMB 160000