Text description provided by the architects. First, Sejong Metropolitan Autonomous City is a newly developed city around Seoul area. We wanted to provide a place where people can escape from the cold city life to be able to reflect on themselves. We wanted to provide people the opportunity to clear out their tiring daily routine and to experience a time to face themselves through this place. The simple square metal mass exterior and site being located not too close to the living area display ‘refinement.’
Second, the whole project started from wanting to provide special time to customers. We considered that people buying coffee is like purchasing the time they spend in the café. We wanted to create an emotional connection between the people and the clearing of their mind. This connection was made possible by fog surrounding the café with fog.There are varied emotions that fog has. It blurs the clear line not only showing more simplified image of things but also helps people to focus more on their inner selves.
We provide precious experience
To clear your mind
And to face yourself.
Time flows differently here.
Floor Plan - The surface of the wall works as a back of the chair and customers can see the courtyard is in the middle. This wall is slightly leaned backwards to help customers gaze the plants in the courtyard, the sky and the fog. Customers can face themselves while gazing this view. Different images of plants and sky as time and season change is a metaphor for cycle of life.
When the door opens, in the middle is the courtyard. The first thing to notice is the floor but it is noticeable that this courtyard turns out to be an outdoor area with no ceiling. The diagonal line adds more focus to the center. Interior design and the finishing material are also very much clean and simple. To add coherence to the design, we have colored the wooden chair black with ink and placed similar color of stones in between the benches.
The rough texture and the simple shape of the building lead to ‘refinement’. There are no windows on the outside which makes it hard to figure out what’s inside. The steel as a finishing material interrupts airwaves resulting bad cell phone connection. However, clients wanted to leave this interruption intentionally to help people focus on themselves.
The absence of plugs for charging electronic devices is also part of the design to help customers concentrate more on themselves. Across the courtyard, LED screen helps customers to locate the coffee bar but it also shows time with the clock on its right. This design portrays the flow of time and the cycle of life. It also shows that time flows the same as the outside world, but the modern LED screen gives clashing image with the atmosphere of the café creating disparate feelings.