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Yao Café is a special work, about dream, family, and love. I’m not a designer, but a dream maker.
In some unimpressive corner at Yuexiu old district, Guangzhou, you may meet Yao Café suddenly. It hides in the deep and stretches its sign made of steel plate. On the sign, the character“瑶”was written in “Xiao Zhuan”, an ancient Chinese script. Without careful notice, you possibly miss such as special café, and Mario who will offer specific coffee for everyone.
▼瑶咖啡外观，exterior of Yao Cafe
Lauren Cheng, the designer said that, before bringing Yao Café into from dream into reality, we experienced ups and downs. And I take that as “The road to happiness is strewn with setbacks”. Coffee after fine grinding smells better. Yao Café that experiencing time has more temperature and emotions. To show life as much as possible, he utilized the most ancient and original factors, i.e., white and cement. Either the bare ceiling or the white appearance, shows their true face, which is different from the surrounding. When night wind flows, shadows move. Cute and poetical.
▼充满温度与情怀的咖啡馆，cafe full of temperature and emotions
「Why named “Yao”? 」
Yao, the name of Mario’s daughter, and a kind of jade. Almost Mario’s moments in Wechat is about his daughter. Mario’s mother likes coffee very much; however, often, she could drink instant coffee. To let his mother enjoy good coffee, Mario started to explore this beverage. Gradually, he became a dream-chaser from a novice. In Greek, Kaweh means power and passion. Maybe due to this magic power, Mario became conversable from reticent. Later on, when the idea to make a café came into his mind, he immediately thought about “Yao”. In this way, Yao Café came into being.
▼设计诞生，the birth of design
The character 瑶 gathers the emotion between Mario and his mother, and his daughter. As what Long Yingtai, a famous Chinese writer wrote:
Gradually, I noticed that being parents and children only means that parents will spend their whole life watching children going far away. You can say: slowly. However, sometimes, let it go may be necessary. I know, it is difficult, extremely. But if you remember our sweet time in childhood…
If time is gone forever, Mario wants to retain memory by “Yao Café”. Touched by the story, Lauren input warmth, love, and passion into the design. At the first sight, you may think it is rough. In fact, the designer utilizes lights to warm up, and hide warmth behind the lights.
▼用灯光暖化空间的粗粝冷淡，designer utilizes lights to warm up the rough interior
「First Meet Yao Café」
If looked from the corner, Yao Café is like a perfect jade surrounded by the shabby surroundings around. Lights and shadows circle the “jade”. Based on the keyword瑶, Lauren Cheng used straight lights to surround the café, just like an artisan cut a piece of jade from a stone. The shop sign is made by 4mm-thick steel plate, with dark blue as background. The character瑶was written in Xiao Zhuan, a kind of type passed down from the Emperor Qin period. Xiao Zhuan looks interesting and lively. It is typical for equal space division and symmetry. Moreover, the designer also processed the type sophisticatedly, by pulling the strokes out and making it like a content tongue.If you come in the early morning, you will meet Mario’s breakfast. Through the folding window, you can see Mario’s round face and he is working in his workbench. Hand-made windows respect craftsman.
▼透过折叠窗看到建筑内部场景，interior can be seen through the folding window
「Go deeply in Yao Café」
Open the door and your eyes will be caught by the light bridge. Along with the blue batten, the light starts from the glass door, across the meeting room and toilet, and arrives in the lobby, finally the starting point – door. The journey of the light bridge is like the ups and downs in life: as time goes by, life periods march further. When this moment arrives, accumulated energy blossoms. The dumping lights are like blossomed energy. They stand for lightness and enable people to see reality clearly.
▼空间中的光桥设计，light bridge in the interior design
Downer, the light bridge crosses three pieces of glass, and the batten changes from blue to gray. This is the most important part of Yao Café – let people in different height stand comfortably and drink coffee. You can lean on the pillars and chat with friends happily.
▼让不同身高深舒适站立的空间，space allow people in different height stand comfortably
▼靠窗座位区，seating area close to the window
▼灯桥穿过三块玻璃融入灰色地板，light bridge crosses three pieces of glass and merges into the floor
The end tables and stools are cute too. End tables are made of hexagonal black paint glass. The shape hexagon is in the middle of square and circle, which illustrates a kind of moderation and balance. The stools were also designed by the designer, which integrate with the gray wall and show friendliness.
▼设计师设计的茶几和椅子，end tables and stools designed by the designer
Look up along with the gray, you will be surprised by the ceiling with bare stones – this is also what the designer did on purpose. He wanted to show the initial and original face of the stones. The old building has experienced forty years. The marks of time is charming and the realist. The concrete ceiling brings close feeling at home and diminishes feeling of distance. When coming in, clients are like visiting a friend instead of making a deal.
▼裸露的天花板，the ceiling was uncovered purposely
「Fascinated by Yao Café」
More deeply, there is the multi-functional meeting room. When closing the folding door, people can have meetings, gather, or even stay alone. When opening the folding door, this is another corner of Yao Café. You can be in a daze, banish yourself, or think as you like.
▼空间深处的多功能会议室，multi-functional meeting room at the deep of the space
The designer said that toilet is a facet of cleanness in the store. It is important. So he utilized the pure linear light as the only light source. The wash basin is made of plank used in architecture and its red and brightness are maintained, which is also designer’s first try. The red planks form a square and illustrates attitude.
▼线光与红色洗手盆，linear light and red wash basin
Before, he believed that only passion could pass time’s test; currently, he knows that coffee and dream can also do that. The designer simplified, perfect, and re-designed the coffee shop, all to realize Mario’s dream. Maybe dream is the best decoration.
▼咖啡杯上的“瑶”， the “Yao” character on the cafe cup
一直想说 谢谢 让我生下你
▼古朴原始的设计元素， ancient and original factors
Stones spend long time before being pearls
One for the rising sun, one for moonlight
One for tomorrow, one for the past
One for passion, one for family
Good architecture tells story. Like the Japanese poem, Mario’s Yao Café represents his softness and warmth. When lights dump down and you look around, you will find warmth rising…
Feelings – Write to My Daughter
And chose me, thank you
Small happiness, thank you
You have full energy
Makes me confident
Live a good life
I want to say “thank you” for a long time
Let me give birth to you
Because of you, every sunrise
Makes me want to say “thank you”
I am that normal
But you picked me
I will be pride
Because I am the father picked by you
Nalan Rongruo, a Chinese poet said: all wonderful things were seen as normal. The normal things in daily life are what actually touch people. Lauren Cheng utilized ordinary things (concrete and white) in Yao Café, and let people bump into love between a father and his daughter. The warmth hidden in everything is like subtle but lasting family love. Along with the light bridge, they huge you in arms.
项目名称 | 瑶咖啡
设计公司 | PDD深点设计
主创设计团队 | 郑小馆, 黄炳森，陈槿珊
文字 | 陈丽玫
施工 | 黄志勇
摄影 | 万嘉
完工时间 | 2018年11月
项目地点 | 中国广州
项目面积 | 60平方米
主材供应商 | 深圳光量照明有限公司
NATTINESS ONE 耐霆1号水性瓷化墙漆