Text description provided by the architects. Beijing-based architecture studio, TEMP has designed a café in the old hutong area near the Drum Tower, Beijng. Café Parallel occupies an old wood structured space that was close to being collapsed. Reinforced with steel structures and refinished with bricks, cement, and metal mesh, it has been renovated into a modern café.
Grey bricks are the choice of material for its exterior as they are the most commonly used around this neighborhood locally. They are laid in a way that emphasizes the horizontal parallel lines adding an extra depth to the façade. Two south-facing glazed openings, a swinging door and a window bring in much sunlight and welcomes the passersby into the store.
Three steps of long bench-like seating are angled towards the street for a nicer view. These diagonal lines also create a triangular corner with enough depth to plant a tree. Red bricks cover the floor and the steps. Wooden cabinets, shelves, and displays are placed on top of these brick walls.
The original roof structures are covered by stainless steel mesh that hangs from the newly added steel beams. The suspended surfaces reveal partially the older wood joists that have worn out over time. Cement walls bring together the ground, the ceiling, and the wooden cabinets. Café Parallel embodies a modern lifestyle within the older traditional spaces.