- Architect In Charge:Jianghai Shen
- Design Team:Jingning Huang, Xueying Pang, Shunhe Wen
Text description provided by the architects. The project is located in Grinding Factory Street, Qianmen, Beijing, which is a street with a great historical atmosphere. Grinding Factory Street was formed in the Ming Dynasty and flourished from the middle of the Qing Dynasty to the Republic of China. It was also known as the "four major commercial streets outside Qianmen " along with Xiheyan, Xianyukou, and Dashilan. After the liberation, most of the shops no longer exist, and the ancient buildings became large courtyards. However, from the remaining buildings, the prosperity of this street can still be seen in some parts. they are silently waiting to be awakened from history. Metalhands Coffee is committed to the exploration of local specialty coffee. Although it has been in operation for two years, its current state is exactly the best state of the space, operators, and users.
The perspective of history
The building before the renovation was a traditional brick building, and the internal wooden staircase had lost its function due to the disrepair of the floor. During the renovation, we hope to preserve the original material and texture of the building as much as possible, so that the new is new and the old is old, to produce a contrast between the new and the old. This impactful contrast can make space arouse the dialogue between users and the history of space. The façade retains the original appearance of the building as much as possible. Entering the cafe through an open courtyard, it begins an encounter with the old days.
When you enter the coffee shop and look into the depth of the space from the bar, you will see three interlocking arch structures. The first arch is a stainless steel arch, which structurally supports the old wall with potential safety hazards. The second arch is a concrete arch, which is painted with cement paint based on the original building to maintain the texture of the old building. The third one is a brick arch as same as the original facade. The perspective structure of the three arch makes people seem to be immersed in an atmosphere wrapped in history, and all the old things are presented in a new way. Through the three layers of the arch, this geometric sense of perspective is strengthened, and space will focus on a place similar to a time and space tunnel, and the sunlight on the coffee cup can no longer tell whether it is the sunshine of the present or the sunshine of the past.
The staircase area leading to the second floor is not only a traffic space but also guides people into a more open area on the second floor in a form that is both enclosed and transparent. The design uses simple techniques, industrial concrete walls, and modern metal panels. The texture contrasts sharply with smoothness, roughness, and refinement. In this very small space, the impact of material contrast is fully utilized. The golden "floating" staircase and the cement texture of the original color form a strong impact. Comparison can not only highlight the relationship between the new and the old but also make a dialogue between the two materials so that people in the space can have a dialogue with space.
The dialogue of time
The open seating arrangement of the second-floor space, combined with the original structure exposed at the top and the light coming through the windows, allows time to precipitate in the space. The stained glass window decorated on the wall pulls people's thoughts back to history and hits a segment in the depths of memory, which makes people start thinking involuntarily.
The coffee shop is not a calm place like the calm of the years, but a place with traces of time that can withstand wind and rain, just like every coffee bean, it has to be roasted to emit this rich aroma. This kind of transformation, which makes a strong contrast and conflict between the new and the old, is also like coffee, which can stand the test of time.