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    Sik Mul Sung is a Mars-themed cafe with its own vertical farm

    South Korean studio Unseenbird has designed a cafe in downtown Seoul, where vegetables are grown in a glass-fronted cultivation room before being harvested, prepared and served to customers on a conveyor belt.

    Sik Mul Sung cafe was set up by agri-tech start-up N.Thing, which also runs a vertical farm on the outskirts of Seoul, to make the company’s technology tangible and accessible to everyday consumers.
    Unseenbird wrapped Seoul’s Sik Mul Sung restaurant in stainless steelLocal practice Unseenbird was tasked with designing the cafe’s interior and wrapped large portions of its walls, counters and fixtures in sheets of stainless steel.
    This is contrasted with decorative red rocks and a floor made of matching pebbles, in a reference to N.Thing’s ambition to build a vertical farm on Mars.
    The cafe’s space-age theme is also reflected in its futuristic green perspex surfaces, which are played off against textured plaster walls.

    Food is delivered to diners via a conveyor beltSik Mul Sung’s focal point is a brightly lit, glass-fronted cultivation room where rows of vegetables grow in a vertical farming system designed by N.Thing, which can function without sunlight or soil.
    When customers place an order, the vegetables are harvested and used as ingredients for salads and ice cream.
    Vegetables are grown on-siteFood is delivered to diners via a conveyor belt that circulates the cultivation room and runs along the curved bar.
    The food itself is presented on circular plates that rotate to recall a planet in orbit.

    Jeonghwa Seo creates cast aluminium and brass furniture for Seoul cafe and wine bar Et Cetera

    “Customers can feel the values and dreams of the company together by experiencing cultivation, harvesting, processing and consumption here,” said Unseenbird.
    “Not only was the characteristic applied functionally to the space but the brand identity was well realised with the finishing materials and tones.”
    The vertical farm does not need soil or sunlight to functionSik Mul Sung has been shortlisted in the small interiors category of this year’s Dezeen Awards.
    Other projects in the running include a serene timber and travertine reading room in Shanghai and a coffee shop in Shenyang, China, where stacked bottle-green beer crates form the furnishings.
    The photography is by Yongjoon Choi. 

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    Three hundred beer crates form furnishings of Shenyang's Fatface Coffee shop

    Bottle-green beer crates are stacked to construct a long counter and matching stools in this pop-up coffee shop in Shenyang, China, designed by architecture practice Baicai.

    Installed in the city’s Window Gallery for a month, the pop-up shop belongs to local cafe Fatface Coffee. Its interior makes use of 300 beer cases to create a central bar and stools with cork seat pads.
    Shenyang’s Fatface Coffee pop-up uses beer crates as furnitureShortlisted in the small interiors category of the 2022 Dezeen Awards, the design hopes to merge Shenyang’s love of beer with its emerging coffee culture.
    “Shenyang is a city beaming with a love for beer,” local studio Bacai explained. “The city’s fondness for beer is expressed in its popularity across the streets and its ever-presence in the daily converse of the residents.”
    “How can the coffee culture respond to the city’s attachment to beer? This pop-up shop aspires to explore the energising dynamics between the two seemingly opposite cultures.”

    Cork was used to form seat pads for the stoolsThe studio says it chose to work with beer crates as they are economical, modular, reusable and help to create a strong visual identity inside the Fatface Coffee shop.
    Custom-made cork seat pads sit on top of the beer cases to form the stools, while a glass panel was cut into shape to create the bar’s countertop.

    Sik Mul Sung

    “The strategy explores the endless possibilities of what a beer case could be: a bar counter, seating of various heights, an exhibition stage or a screen to hide the frameworks for water and electricity,” said Baicai.
    “The project experiments with the confluence between beer and coffee, bridging meaningful dialogues between what is local and what is imported.”
    The bar counter is topped with a glass sheetFatface Coffee’s large central bar was designed to challenge the conventional floor plan of a cafe, and according to Baicai creates a more open, democratic space where baristas and guests can circulate freely.
    Other projects shortlisted in the small interiors category at this year’s Dezeen Awards include a yellow attic conversion in Antwerp and a serene timber and travertine reading room in Shanghai by Atelier Tao+C.
    The photography is by Topia Vision.

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    Ten eclectic eateries that showcase the potential of terrazzo

    From a pink-hued Ottolenghi restaurant in London to a muted pizzeria in Beijing, our latest lookbook rounds up 10 eateries from around the world that feature terrazzo elements.

    Terrazzo is a flooring material that consists of uneven pieces of marble or granite set in concrete, which is then polished to give it a smooth finish.
    Architects and interior designers often use the sturdy material in their projects to create practical floors, but also to give walls or other surfaces a speckled and decorative appearance.
    We have collected 10 eateries that use terrazzo, such as on the tabletops of a fish and chip shop in Australia and to make up the floors of a Chinese teahouse.
    This is the latest in our lookbooks series, which provides visual inspiration from Dezeen’s archive. For more inspiration see previous lookbooks showcasing steely kitchens, green bedrooms and gardens with swimming pools.

    Photo is by Niveditaa GuptaRosie and Tillie, India, by Renesa
    Local architecture studio Renesa set terracotta tiles against smooth terrazzo surfaces at Rosie and Tillie, an all-day cafe in New Delhi.
    Squat curved booths create sculptural seating throughout the eatery, which is located within a former Indian restaurant at a shopping mall in the Indian capital’s Saket neighbourhood.
    Find out more about Rosie and Tillie ›
    Photo is by David SieversSmallfry Seafood, Australia, by Sans-Arc Studio
    Smallfry Seafood is a chip shop in Adelaide, Australia, that takes cues from the aesthetics of Japanese seafood markets.
    Sans-Arc Studio created a communal bar and curved tables from narrow slabs of light blue terrazzo. For the rest of the interiors, the studio chose mottled grey travertine and stained wood accents that are illuminated by globular pendant lights.
    Find out more about Smallfry Seafood ›
    Photo is by Oculis ProjectDrop Coffee, UAE, by Roar Studio
    A decorative terrazzo floor mirrors a mural created from broken ceramic tiles at this Dubai cafe that was designed by Roar Studio at the city’s Dar Al Wasl Mall.
    Drop Coffee has a colour palette of greys and whites, chosen to maintain focus on the cafe’s mix of industrial materials such as stainless steel and concrete.
    “We aren’t trying to reinvent the wheel by using broken tiles – our idea was to form a counterpoint to the terrazzo effect porcelain flooring as though the chips of the broken tiles were used in the flooring,” Roar Studio founder Pallavi Dean told Dezeen.
    Find out more about Drop Coffee ›
    Photo is by Jovian LimOdette, Singapore, by Universal Design Studio 
    Mosaic-like terrazzo floors formed from pale pink and white take centre stage at Odette, a restaurant in Singapore created by British practice Universal Design Studio.
    A range of soft and smooth materials make up the interiors, from plush grey velvet benches and chairs to sleek nickel fixtures and statement planters.
    Find out more about Odette ›
    Photo is courtesy of Alex MeitlisOttolenghi Chelsea, UK, by Alex Meitlis
    London deli and restaurant chain Ottolenghi has opened a branch in Chelsea that features interior styling by designer Alex Meitlis, who created exposed plaster walls interspersed with pink terrazzo tiles.
    The eatery includes slinky banquettes in red upholstery and low-slung rattan chairs, which are arranged around sculptural white tables.
    Find out more about Ottolenghi Chelsea ›
    Photo is by Tom BlachfordPenta, Australia, by Ritz&Ghougassian 
    Terrazzo was used to create subtle geometric seating at Penta, a minimal cafe in Melbourne designed by local architecture studio Ritz&Ghougassian.
    Jet black cushions and chairs contrast the grey speckled benches, while delicate native ferns add a touch of greenery to the otherwise monochrome interiors.
    Find out more about Penta ›
    Photo is by Jonathan LeijonhufvudLievito Gourmet Pizza, China, by MDDM Studio
    Another eatery with a muted atmosphere, Lievito Gourmet Pizza by MDDM Studio features blocky custom-made tables and a central bar formed from powdery grey terrazzo.
    The Beijing restaurant was designed with this layout in order to incorporate both open and more intimate dining spaces, which are arranged across three subtle levels.
    Find out more about Lievito Gourmet Pizza ›
    Photo is by Dirk WeiblenTingtai Teahouse, China, by Linehouse
    Situated inside an old factory space in Shanghai, Tingtai Teahouse is characterised by its intimate seating areas contained in elevated boxes positioned above a multi-level landscape of green terrazzo.
    “We paired smoked oak and brushed darkened stainless steel with the green terrazzo to bring warmth into the space,” explained Linehouse founder Alex Mok.
    Find out more about Tingtai Teahouse ›
    Photo is by Samara ViseB-Natural Kitchen, USA, by Atelier Cho Thompson 
    A rounded bar and service counter with a multi-coloured terrazzo top and tamboured wood siding features in B-Natural Kitchen, a pastel-hued restaurant in New Haven, Connecticut.
    Atelier Cho Thompson juxtaposed soft and bold finishes for the interiors, which include plant-themed graphic wallpaper that nods to the eatery’s menu of fresh ingredients.
    Find out more about project B-Natural Kitchen ›
    Photo is by Tom BlachfordMiddle South East, Australia, by Biasol
    Design studio Biasol took cues from Middle Eastern architecture for this Melbourne restaurant that juxtaposes deep blue and terracotta tones.
    A tiled water station with terrazzo shelving features in the centre of the room, while clusters of dining tables and a bar are topped with the same speckled material.
    Find out more about Middle South East ›
    This is the latest in our series of lookbooks providing curated visual inspiration from Dezeen’s image archive. For more inspiration see previous lookbooks showcasing white bathrooms, light-filled extensions and homes with statement windows.

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    Nameless Architecture creates “artificial valley” at base of Gyeryongsan Mountain

    Architecture studio Nameless Architecture has completed the Café Teri bakery in Daejeon, South Korea, in a pair of buildings that flow into a central courtyard.

    Located at the foot of the Gyeryongsan Mountain in Daejeon, Nameless Architecture designed the two buildings to frame the entrance to a hiking trail that continues up the mountain.
    The cafe’s courtyard leads onto a hiking trailThe two rectangular buildings were angled, creating an outdoor space that narrows towards the mountain path. The three-storey building contains a cafe and the two-storey building opposite is a bakery.
    “The artificial valley, where the distinction between the wall and the floor is blurred, creates a flow towards the forest and becomes the yard to the cafe and a path for walkers,” Nameless Architecture co-principal Unchung Na told Dezeen.
    “We intended the building to become a path and courtyard that guides the flow of nature and visitors rather than blocking the promenade.”

    Concrete brick walls slope down into the floor of the courtyard at Café TeriThe 900-square-metre project was finished in concrete bricks, creating a rough texture on the exterior walls.
    “The concrete bricks used to construct the architectural topography emphasise the continuity of the flowing space,” said Na.
    “On the other hand, the facade wall made of rough broken bricks creates a difference of boundaries through the change of light, shadow, and time.”
    Nameless Architecture used concrete brick for the interior of the cafe as well as the exteriorThe flowing exterior walls of the project are replicated inside the ground floor of a cafe, where the back wall of a double-height space curves down into stepped seating.
    The floor, curved wall and stepped seating inside the cafe were finished in concrete bricks, and the remaining walls were finished in polished concrete.

    Stacked felt sheets create seating inside South Korean cafe

    “The fluid wall is continuous not only in the yard but also in the interior space, connecting the inside and outside scenery through a stepped space,” Na explained.
    A backyard area features uplifted terrain that mimics the curved concrete brick walls of the cafe and bakery, which Nameless Architecture designed to provide a spatially interesting place for people to enjoy food outside.
    Nameless Architecture used curved walls to create a distinct “architectural topography”The architecture practice designed the curved elements that appear to emerge from the ground with the aim of blurring the lines between what is wall and floor.
    “The basic elements of architecture can be reinterpreted to induce various experiences and actions of people,” said Na.
    “In particular, the two elements, wall and floor, are defined as fundamentally different architectural elements, but we tried to reconsider this strict relationship.”
    The project aims to reinterpret how walls and floors are used as architectural elements”The mutual relationship in which the wall becomes the floor, and the inside becomes the outside can be interpreted in various ways through the experience of the place,” Na continued.
    Other projects recently completed in South Korea include a department store in Seoul with an indoor waterfall and skyscrapers with red-painted steel columns designed by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners.
    The photography is by Kyung Roh.
    Project credits:
    Architect: Nameless ArchitecturePrincipals-in-charge: Unchung Na and Sorae YooProject team: Taekgyu Kang, Changsoo Lee and Jungho Lee

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    Traditional Chinese roof tiles decorate the interior of Blue Bottle Coffee shop in Shanghai

    Japanese studio Keiji Ashizawa Design has used traditional Chinese roof tiles as the key material at Blue Bottle Coffee’s latest shop in Shanghai to celebrate local culture.

    Set to open on Friday, the cafe is located on the first and second floors of a building connected to the Kerry Centre in downtown Shanghai, close to the over 1,000-year-old Jing’an Temple.
    The new Blue Bottle Coffee shop is located in downtown ShanghaiKeiji Ashizawa Design placed a total of 13,000 handmade brick tiles on the bar counter, stairwell wall and the lounge area of the cafe.
    This particular type of bricks, which have semi-circular edges, were made in Yixing, a nearby city that is known for its clayware manufacturing. A new smoking process was used for the surface of the tiles to increase their strength and create a subtle reflective effect.
    Bespoke handmade brick tiles were used to cover the bar counter”As Blue Bottle Coffee commits to create local communities around their cafes, we always determine the materials and design based on the local, both culture and history,” studio founder Keiji Ashizawa said.

    “Working on a project in mainland China as a Japanese architectural firm, I felt that there was an importance in considering the common aspects between the two cultures,” he added.
    “With that in mind, we looked through images I photographed and found an image of a roof I took from a restaurant in Chengdu, which inspired me to use roof tiles for the cafe.”
    The stairwell allows visitors to enjoy views of the coffee-making processA coffee bar that connects both floors is at the centre of the space, while seating and product displaying areas are arranged around it.
    According to Blue Bottle Coffee, this is to encourage customers to interact with the process of coffee making.
    An open lounge is on the second floor of the cafeThe stairwell is right next to the bar counter on the first floor so that when people walk up to the second floor, they are able to watch coffee being made at the bar area from different heights.
    An open lounge space at the second floor features a hanging paper light above a seating area with dark-brown furniture and leather cushions.

    Keiji Ashizawa designs Blue Bottle Coffee shop for “cave-like space” in Maebashi hotel

    Where the shop connects to the Kerry Centre, a series of semi-circular recessed seating areas have been carved out from the wall on both floors.
    The rounded shape of the seating areas not only responds to the roof tiles but also creates privacy for the customers dining in the cafe.
    Keiji Ashizawa Design used concrete in a variety of colours and textures all over the cafe, which has structural columns and slabs in raw concrete. Natural oak furniture was selected to add warmth to the interior.
    The seating areas are designed to reflect the shape of traditional Chinese roof tilesBlue Bottle Coffee was founded as a small roastery in Oakland, California, by James Freeman in 2002 and has since grown into a chain of cafes across the USA and Asia.
    This is the second Blue Bottle Coffee shop in mainland China. The first one was opened in February this year, designed by Schemata Architects, also in Shanghai.
    Previously, Keiji Ashizawa Design has designed three Blue Bottle Coffee shops in Japan.
    The photography is by Chen Hao.

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    Renesa uses contrasting terracotta and terrazzo materials to create all-day cafe in New Delhi

    New Delhi-based architecture and interior design studio Renesa juxtaposed terracotta and terrazzo materials to design a space that acts as a cafe by day and a bar by night.

    The eatery, which is called Rosie and Tillie, was named by its owners – chefs Anukriti Anand and Vicky Mandal – who wanted to create a hybrid open-plan brunch and cocktail bar.
    Curved booths run down the middle of Renesa’s cafe in Delhi”The cafe expatiates on the dichotomy of a woman who goes by the name Rosie in the morning and Tillie in the evening,” Renesa head architect Sanchit Arora told Dezeen.
    “While chef Anukriti Anand, an expert in bakery, wanted a space that could be called a daytime cafe with cakes and coffees and beverages, they also wanted something that could serve yet another mood; one of night, exclusivity and sombreness,” he added.
    The studio implemented a contrasting rust and white colour paletteNestled in a former Indian restaurant in a shopping mall in New Delhi’s Saket neighbourhood, the cafe features terracotta, warm white terrazzo and curvilinear architectural motifs.

    Customers enter Rosie and Tillie through an outdoor seating section that is decorated in the same materials and colour palette as the cafe’s interior.
    Once inside, guests are welcomed by a row of rust-coloured and creamy white booths upholstered with plush white seats, which run through the centre of the 1,700 square-foot space. These add texture and warmth as well as privacy for diners.
    Booths and walls are clad in the same tilesRenesa, which recently completed a brick-clad showroom interior in Delhi, made the sculptural “spine” that divides the space into different zones the focal point for the mixed-use site.
    “We took an axis as the starting point for our project,” said Arora. “A curvilinear spine divides the space not just spatially, creating efficient zones, but also metaphorically, animating the personalities of Rosie and Tillie.”
    The studio threaded white terrazzo throughoutEach booth has a circular table in its middle where customers can dine on menu items such as french toast, buffalo chicken burgers and American-style pancakes.
    During the evening, they can sip cocktails while sitting on high stools at the main bar counter towards the back of the room.

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    One half of the room is lined in pale flooring and has an earthy red paint applied overhead, while the other half of the room is decorated in the opposite colours.
    Red brick tiles along the walls envelop the space while industrial looking metal lights hang overhead along the length of the plan, uniting the two sides of the space.
    The space has a mixture of traditional table seats and bar counter options”The perimeter of the floor plan is dotted by dining nooks that make way for communal dining in intimate groups illuminated by bespoke luminaires that are artistic installations in their own right,” explained Arora.
    “The hybrid of experiences ranging from the daytime bistro-esque identity morphs effortlessly into the moody lounge by evening via the vocabulary of materiality and lighting that render the venue in a binate mien void of physical demarcations,” he added.
    Other recent cafes featured on Dezeen include a serene eatery in Melbourne called Au79 cafe by Australian studio Mim Design and the Connie-Connie cafe at the Copenhagen Contemporary art gallery which Danish studio Tableau and designer Ari Prasetya filled with wooden chairs by designers.
    Photography is by Niveditaa Gupta.

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    Weathered rocks inform interior of Orijins coffee shop by VSHD Design

    Interiors studio VSHD Design has added a curved ceiling and boulder-like marble counters to this minimalist coffee shop in Dubai.

    Located on the street level of the Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC), the Orijins coffee shop is sparsely decorated using muted colours and natural materials.
    Slim metal furnishings fill the interior of VSHD Design’s Orijins coffee shop in DubaiVSHD Design, which was founded by local interior architect Rania Hamed in 2007, designed the cafe to mimic the “beautiful imperfections found in nature” and in particular a collection of water-smoothed stones picked up from the shores of the Red Sea.
    Orijins’ desaturated colour palette references sand, shells, stone and wood, while the dramatic curved ceiling and the seven uneven marble blocks that form the coffee bar lend a weathered quality to the 105-square-metre space.
    A curved ceiling and plastered walls mimic the surface of stonesThe marble blocks with their abstract shapes were drawn by hand but cut by automated CNC machines, creating a mixture of smooth and rough edges.

    These heavy forms are contrasted with slender metal furnishings and tactile textiles such as fur, boucle and heavy weaves, which were selected to complement the interior’s raw finishes.

    Ras Al Khaimah’s minimalist Hoof cafe is designed to recall horse stalls

    Plaster walls and polished concrete floors provide a neutral backdrop for the scheme.
    The cafe is lit by a slim LED strip that runs along the length of the space, highlighting the gentle curve of Orijins’ ceiling. Spotlights are positioned over the bar area and a brushed-aluminium sconce custom designed by VSHD decorates one of the walls.
    Seven uneven marble blocks form the coffee bar”Orijins represents the design firm’s interpretation of what it means to be calm, to sit still and to observe the beauty that can be found even in our flawed, everyday reality,” said VSHD Design.
    “It’s the feeling of calm and serenity one gets when sitting on a rock by the sea.”
    All of the furnishings are held in neutral tonesOther cavernous coffee bars include the Blue Bottle Coffee shop at the Shiroiya Hotel in Maebashi, Japan, where Keiji Ashizawa paired brick floors with a warm colour palette.
    The photography is by Oculis Project.

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    Tutu lights populate Montreal's Cafe Constance by Atelier Zébulon Perron

    Pink pendant lights resembling dancers’ skirts hang from the ceiling of this cafe by Atelier Zébulon Perron at a Montreal ballet school.

    Cafe Constance is located in the downtown Wilder Building, home to Les Grands Ballets Canadiens and named in tribute one of the organisation’s former leaders, Constance Pathy.
    Cafe Constance was designed as a theatrical experience within the contemporary building’s lobbyThe 1,400-square-foot (130-square-metre) space occupies the contemporary building’s lobby. It is used both for social gatherings for the artists and employees, and as a reception venue during and after functions or performances.
    “Maintaining apropos ambiances through the space’s transitions from coffee shop by day, to more cocktail-oriented functions in the evening influenced Atelier Zébulon Perron’s design philosophy,” said the design studio in a statement.
    A canopy above the bar and pendant lights help to create a more intimate scale”But the main focus was on creating something truly warm and whimsical in the heart of a contemporary institutional building,” the team added.

    In contrast to the large expanses of glazing and concrete finishes of the building, Atelier Zébulon Perron opted for rich materials like walnut, velvet and brass. Wooden screens wrap the cafe, partially shielding it from view while creating intrigue for patrons and passersby.
    Wooden screens wrap the seating area to create intrigue”We adopted a theatrical approach in order to build a sort of spectacle that is really quite literal,” said studio founder Zébulon Perron.
    “The idea was to create something that seems completely out of place, and that captivates the imagination in a strange and wonderful way,” he said.
    Materials like walnut and brass were chosen to contrast the concrete interiorA canopy above the bar area helps to bring the tall ceilings down to a more human scale.
    Similarly, a series of pleated pendants are gracefully suspended from thin wires above the seating area, at a height that helps create a more intimate setting.

    Atelier Zébulon Perron designs “sensual” bar and restaurant at Montreal’s Four Seasons hotel

    These custom-designed lamps, each a slightly different shape, are made from the same blush-toned crinoline fabric as a dancer’s tutu.
    Floral-patterned wallpaper, upholstery and carpets, as well as golden lamps topped with tasseled shades, create the impression of a staged scene from another era.
    Details like wallpaper, upholstery and lighting add drama to the space”The tongue-in-cheek approach to Cafe Constance aimed at creating a fun and fantastical space within the more austere backdrop of the building’s contemporary architecture,” Perron said.
    “That play on contrasts extends to the design within the space as well, with hints of Victorian elements and boudoir intimacy animated by intricate colours, patterns and light fixtures.”
    Lamps were custom designed from crinoline fabric used to make tutusThe designer founded the eponymous interiors studio in 2008, and has also completed a restaurant at Montreal’s Four Seasons hotel.
    Other recently completed hospitality interiors in the city include the plant- and mirror-filled Tiramisu by Menard Dworkind, and La Firme’s bright and airy Melk Cafe.
    The photography is by Alex Lesage.

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