spirituality meets architecture through the cave-like design
caved under the bouldering tranquility, zolaism café by B.L.U.E. architecture studio reminisces of mountains and seas. in aranya- qinhuangdao in china, right in the plaza of the community, sits now the dessert store. the vastness of nature takes an urban stance as the project lures people in to escape the city rhythms and get immersed into the spiritual quietness. with man-made stones, the designers aim to highlight the value of architecture in creating and spreading emotions and memories.
with its back to the original cinema building, zolaism café integrates architecture with nature
all images courtesy of B.L.U.E. architecture studio
photographs by eiichi kano
form meets function at the zolaism café
with its back to the original cinema building, the architecture of zolaism café is as carefully designed as it looks improvisational. around the organic forms, a performance of space brings together customers and harmony. as they are scattered methodically the rocks supporting the eave define three sides of glass enclosures. while the interior and exterior integrating, the different sized rock columns mask the steel structure that divides the space. moreover, in two of the formations one can find the secret private restrooms.
the rocks supporting the eave define three sides of glass enclosures
two of the stone columns hide the secret private restrooms
the frameless glass curtain walls bring plenty of sunlight
the chairs and tables spread freely throughout the spaces between the mountain rocks as the plan gives the whole space a sense of fluidity and openness, providing guests a constantly changing spatial experience while walking. the natural texture of concrete reveals a coarse and heavy feel, while creating a strong visual contrast with the lightness and transparency of the surrounding ultra-clear surfaces in order to emphasize a sense of power of the form. in turn, the frameless full-height glass curtain walls bring plenty of sunlight into the indoor space. as a result, a dynamic play of light and shadow flickers, providing the guests the feeling of resting in nature.
the frameless full-height glass curtain walls bring plenty of sunlight indoors
GRC pouring was used to create the stone columns
the design process begun with 1:100 scaled models in foam, which evolved into clay sculptures in 1:10. simultaneously with the help of computer 3D modelling and with constant adjustments, the idea transformed into vision. following a GRC pouring process, the finished forms were transported on site for assembly. perceptual experience and adhoc judgement helped the designers gradually refine a more organic-looking scheme. as initially conceptualized, the caved café secludes people from the urban noise, offering a sensual and perceptual feel of returning to nature.