Return Café / Atelier FANZHENG

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Night View. Image Courtesy of Atelier FANZHENG Night View. Image Courtesy of Atelier FANZHENG
  • Architects: Atelier FANZHENG
  • Location: No. 56 Guxin Road, Gulangyu, Xiamen, Fujian, China
  • Lead Architects: Fangcheng Lin
  • Area: 120.0 m2
  • Project Year: 2018
Entrance. Image Courtesy of Atelier FANZHENG Entrance. Image Courtesy of Atelier FANZHENG

Text description provided by the architects. Kulangsu island has a superior geographical environment. The special colonial culture has brought a large number of Western architectures. However, After decades of erosion, the original building has become dilapidated. We hope to bring it renewed spirit by redesign.

Round Glass Curtain Wall. Image Courtesy of Atelier FANZHENG Round Glass Curtain Wall. Image Courtesy of Atelier FANZHENG

The original building is located in the courtyard of a hotel in Kulangsu island, where there is a difference in elevation. The fomer building is sprinkled with grey bricks and weeds spring up at will. The original wall structure and wood ceiling are seriously damaged, which cannot be used safely anymore.

Night View. Image Courtesy of Atelier FANZHENG Night View. Image Courtesy of Atelier FANZHENG

Surrounded by

Interior. Image Courtesy of Atelier FANZHENG
Round Glass Curtain Wall. Image Courtesy of Atelier FANZHENG
1st Floor Plan
Round Glass Curtain Wall. Image Courtesy of Atelier FANZHENG
Round Glass Curtain Wall. Image Courtesy of Atelier FANZHENG
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Water Pool. Image Courtesy of Atelier FANZHENG
Round Glass Curtain Wall. Image Courtesy of Atelier FANZHENG
Night View. Image Courtesy of Atelier FANZHENG
Entrance. Image Courtesy of Atelier FANZHENG
Mezzanine. Image Courtesy of Atelier FANZHENG
Rooftop. Image Courtesy of Atelier FANZHENG
greenery, we want to make it a multi-functional, public party space for both catering and exhibitions.

Interior. Image Courtesy of Atelier FANZHENG Interior. Image Courtesy of Atelier FANZHENG
Design Concept
1. On the foundation of the original building, we extend the form of a sloping roof to enlarge the interior space , then combine the old and new building by inserting a rectangular exhibition space.

2. we design a cylindrical space in the middle of the building axis, the lower part forms a circular static pool, and the upper part forms a roof rest platform. People can ramble around the still water pool.

Round Glass Curtain Wall. Image Courtesy of Atelier FANZHENG Round Glass Curtain Wall. Image Courtesy of Atelier FANZHENG
1st Floor Plan 1st Floor Plan
Round Glass Curtain Wall. Image Courtesy of Atelier FANZHENG Round Glass Curtain Wall. Image Courtesy of Atelier FANZHENG

3. Insert the steel structure girders into the wooden rafters of the original truss, and  strengthen the original building by adding steel columns to ensure the safety of the building.

Round Glass Curtain Wall. Image Courtesy of Atelier FANZHENG Round Glass Curtain Wall. Image Courtesy of Atelier FANZHENG

4. The pool not only connect the three functional areas of catering, exhibition and roof terrace to be connected but also maintain the  independence of each other, forming a rich and interesting activity space.

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Architectural Reality
The cafe is located on the first floor. After entering the gate, people can only see the sloping roof . the cafe will be seen only when people passing through the courtyard shaded by the greenery and go down stairs.

Water Pool. Image Courtesy of Atelier FANZHENG Water Pool. Image Courtesy of Atelier FANZHENG

Entering the cafe, you will see the water pool at first sight. the sky and the surrounding environment reflected on the pool. The symmetrical pattern and the wooden grille of the compartment also express a strong sense of order.

Round Glass Curtain Wall. Image Courtesy of Atelier FANZHENG Round Glass Curtain Wall. Image Courtesy of Atelier FANZHENG

Along the circular glass curtain wall, The exhibition space divides people flows into two sides , the left side is exhibition space and the right side is landscape space , forming a circular flow route.

Night View. Image Courtesy of Atelier FANZHENG Night View. Image Courtesy of Atelier FANZHENG

When people approach the central still pool, they can see the curved sky when they look up. This place introduces the natural changes of the outside world into the interior, creating a diverse space atmosphere.

Entrance. Image Courtesy of Atelier FANZHENG Entrance. Image Courtesy of Atelier FANZHENG

The combination of light and wooden furniture and rammed earth walls creates a warm and comfortable feeling. We also preserved the rafters, tiles, and brick walls of the original building, which are part of the architectural texture, revealing the traces of time, allowing people to feel the memory of the building.

Mezzanine. Image Courtesy of Atelier FANZHENG Mezzanine. Image Courtesy of Atelier FANZHENG

Outside the cafe,the courtyard is open to the public. Surrounded by green plants , the courtyard connected to the open roof terrace. In the future, art salons, parties and creative markets will be held here , and private event venues will also be accepted.

Rooftop. Image Courtesy of Atelier FANZHENG Rooftop. Image Courtesy of Atelier FANZHENG
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