Elle Cafe, China by OFFICE AIO

a nod to “Art de vivre” with the timelessness of classical tectonics

Project Specs


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展平的雅典柱式屏风后,是OFFICE AIO新设计的法式路边”Elle Cafe
OFFICE AIO Designs Beijing’s Elle Cafe Behind a Veil of a Flattened Colonnade

由OFFICE AIO设计、位于北京的新时尚咖啡馆(Fashion Cafe)是Elle Cafe在中国的第二家分店。设计师在倒 T 形的平面之上,为这个大型商场中的咖啡厅构思了一个如在法国街道边休闲用餐的空间体验。

▼咖啡店外观,the exterior view ©Wen Studio

Designed by OFFICE AIO, Beijing’s new fashion cafe is Elle Cafe’s second location in China. With an inverted T-shaped floor plan, the designers conceived a French sidewalk dining experience inside a shopping mall.

▼轴测图,axonometric © OFFICE AIO


Play of Classicism for a dramatic spanning shopfront


Modern indoor commercial centres are designed with walkways carefully directed. They are often flanked by longwindedly two-dimensional advertisements or wide-open shopfronts. Each one is eagerly opening itself up loudly and entirely to the passing consumers.

▼用餐区外立面,facade of the dining area ©Wen Studio

然而,最新的Elle Cafe设计旨在向“生活艺术(Art de Vivre)”致敬,并以古典建筑的构造元素塑造跨时空感。当行人从咖啡馆的西边走近时,窄长的侧翼开放着一角,示意着前方这个展示艺术和用餐的空间。馆内的闲适和走道上的熙攘平行相隔,因此OFFICE AIO沿着咖啡馆和商场间的边界,设计了4米高的白色铝制屏风。屏风跨越着其特长的门面,以抽象、二维化的方式处理雅典多立克柱式的形态,犹如卢浮宫东面上的长柱廊一般,气派而富有节奏。

But the latest Elle Cafe design is a nod to “Art de vivre” with the timelessness of classical tectonics. Coming from the west, one approaches the cafe’s narrower wing with an exposed corner, implying a space that showcases art and the joy of dining. To distinguish the lifestyle from traffic along the corridor, OFFICE AIO designs a 4-meter high white aluminium screen that marks the border between the cafe and the mall, abstracting the sequence of a Doric column shaft. The resulted colonnade spans most of the elongated front, reminiscing a classical precedent — the long East facade of columns of the Louvre.

▼白色铝制屏风的界面,high white aluminum screen marking the border ©Wen Studio


Minimally, classical ornamentations are also implemented inside the restaurant. Custom-made column-like table stools and bar counter are made in oak, grounding the cafe with a sense of nature. Chequer parquet in muted terrazzo hues is diamond laid on the ground; its pattern echoed above by mirror tiles exuding order and grandeur.

▼看向吧台,view of the bar ©Wen Studio


All of these impart a multi-faceted rhythm that presents tradition with a modern twist. A peek reflected by the mirror, a brush of the screen with fingertips, enrich the passerby and patrons’ experience by the contrasts of solid and void, flatness and depth, of social dynamics on either side.

▼铺设镜面的用餐区,dining area reflected by the mirror ©Wen Studio


A central stage flanked by two wings


Carefully located plan- and elevation-wise, the full-length half arch defines an essential axis running through the space. Within the springer of the arch, it houses a magnetic track light system. On the narrower wing, the gallery appears more spacious with its wall-washing strip lights embedded along the axis. On its east end, an array of spot lamps are installed over the tables centred below.

▼排列整齐的座椅,seats arranged in an essential axis ©Wen Studio

家具的选择上,设计师遵循着空间简约大气的风格。超大的圆锥型吊灯均匀地悬挂于拱顶和洞石台面之间。而与桌子搭配的,是&Tradition妩媚的酒红色织网贝蒂椅(Betty Chairs),以映照品牌专注女性生活方式的定位。

Furniture that adds a sense of minimal modernity was selected. Oversized cone-shaped pendants are evenly spaced and hover over travertine tabletops below. The tabletops are paired with seductive burgundy-coloured woven webbed Betty Chairs from &Tradition.

▼用餐区的超大圆锥型吊灯,oversized cone-shaped pendants ©Wen Studio

东边的墙上挂有倾斜的镜子,进一步反射着咖啡馆中聚餐的客人和布置于厅内的各色文创设计精品。由OFFICE AIO设计的Elle Cafe,平衡着经典和现代的元素,透过屏风的间隙,长卷般地闪现着馆内宾朋满座、馆外人流穿梭的社会情景。

With mirrors hanging at an angle reflecting cafe visitors and walls presenting designer items, OFFICE AIO’s design of Elle Cafes showcases a long series of social scenery with its dramatic spanning storefront of both classicism and modernity.

▼座椅细部,details © Wen Studio


The node linking the two lengthy spaces is the core of food preparation and an interface of reception. Acting as a “stage”, a large island in brushed steel sits behind the reception bar where garnishing of dishes and various beverages can be observed from all angles. A backdrop in brass anchors the central space, with a narrow slit opening to subtly reveal the hustle within the central kitchen through a pane of frosted glass.

▼出餐区,the service area © Wen Studio

▼平面图,plan © OFFICE AIO

客户: Elle Cafe
地点: 中国北京
面积: 130 sqm
任务: 室内设计
主设计师: 关穗棋(Tim Kwan)
团队: 孙运萱(Isabelle Sun),解传宝,于思琪
委任时间: 2019
建成时间: 2020 
摄影: Wen Studio
灯光: 乔艳莎
结构: 北京艺豪建筑装饰设计工程有限公司
平面: 熊可歆

Client: Elle Cafe
Location: Beijing, China
Area: 130sqm
Commission: Spatial Design & Shop Façade Design
Principal: Tim KWAN
Team: Isabelle SUN, Steven XIE, Siqi YU
Appointment: 2019
Completion: 2020
Photos: Wen Studio
Lighting Designer: Yansha QIAO
Construction: Beijing Yihao Building Decoration Engineering Co. Ltd
Graphic Design: Kexin Xiong

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