This post is by Collin Chen from ArchDaily
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- Architects: Knowhere Studio
- Location: No,35.Taikang Road, Tianzifang 248 long, Shanghai, China
- Designers: Shijie Zhang, Nan Yang, Xueqi Chen
- Project Year: 2018
- Photographs: Qingling Zheng, Shijie Zhang
Text description provided by the architects. This cat café locates in the famous Tianzifang commercial area in Shanghai, it’s only has a narrow door connects with the street, main using space are located on the second and third floor. It’s not a typical commercial space design, it’s a renovation project of the old housing. Cats are the main users of the whole space every day. To provide a comfortable and playable space for cats and provide a chilling space for customers are the design target.
The original second and third floor is a simple space with really rough wall
is not a nice living space for cats.
During the design process, four ladders are added in to the space to provide a new way for cats to climb from the second floor to the third floor. In the later process, one of the ladders for feeding is cancelled in case the space is too full. On the wall, a lot of cat houses and ladders are settled for cats to play around. The original window is also changed to a cat house shape, the decoration lights are also cat shape in order to keep the overall image of cat houses. European ash wood is used as the main material inside the whole space.
Housing shape is also used on the original wall façade, it’s also a way to distinguish from the other shops on the street to make sure that this cat café could be noticed though it does not have a show window.
The original steep staircase is also redesigned to make sure that it’s safe for all the customers. Hand sanitizer and flip flop are served at the entrance to ensure that all the bacterial is killed before entering the space to protect all the kitties. Wall paper are designed for customers to take selfies.
The hole on the third floor become the most favorite space for the cats. Cats always love to play around these three holes. Cats climbing the ladders also become an interesting scene in the café.
The staircase for customers become a playground for cats without doubt. Lighting on the wall are cat house shaped and also the original square window is changed to the house shape to create a harmony atmosphere.
Fixed resting area on the third floor is designed in order to provide a more comfortable area for customers. At the same time, round holes between the resting seats are designed to ensure that cats can jump through. Because the connection ladders create three large holes on the ground of third floor which might put customers lives at risk. So we designed hanging cat houses in the air to remind customers there is something below and also to protect them from stepping into the hole.
Houseshaped cat housing and ladders are connected so that cats could discover and play by themselves. The shadow of the ladders and houses are also a special place for cats.
This design started from the cats, to provide a comfortable playground for cats. Cats are the owners of the space, and people become passers. Three huge ladders are designed for cats to climb to the third floor and suddenly show them in front of the customers. Cat houses provide kitties a safe place to stay and ladders are for them to climb and jump. Customers can enjoy the time with cats on the floor. The day would be light up after you spend some time in this cat café.
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