EQUATOR PEAK COFFEE

01 Design thinking based on the business world

Yiwu is located in Zhejiang Province, the geographical centre of Hangzhou, Ningbo and Jinhua, with intensive exchanges with other cities in Zhejiang. EQUATOR PEAK COFFEE is in the centre of Yiwu, with easy access to the city and a riverside view. It is close to Wanda Plaza and high-end residential areas, with a stable audience with a certain level of purchasing power.The architect tries to present and explore the relationship between the building and the city through the visual extension.As a downtown area with a high level of commercial traffic, it also seems to be in desperate need of a little respite, a place to stop and rest, relax and chat with others, or take a shallow moment of leisure amid the bustling city.

 

02 About coffee : a medium of interaction ,between interior and exterior

In the past, our impression of coffee shops seemed stuck in the following two stages: the earliest buy-it-and-go pure coffee sales, or the coffee-based lifestyle, as exemplified by Starbucks. These two models, whether in operation methods or interior design, both emphasise the private sphere to a greater or lesser extent. They are highly inward-looking and private to consumers.What EQUATOR PEAK COFFEE wants to create is a new type of social cafe, perhaps to reflect the growing need for social interaction or perhaps to project this need into the design of the space.Lefebvre considered the concept of space dialectically, as both objective and subjective, subservient to its physical characteristics and derived from the social properties of its use.Interestingly, the 'café' is seen as a social medium, expanding from the interior to the exterior, transforming from inward to outward-looking. The design is also a metaphor for the increasing social demands of society, with coffee or coffee shops now becoming a figurative expression of social interaction.

 

03 The extension and integration of space,are reflected in the materials

As for the selection of materials, the architect tries to minimise the design language to maximise the visual effect from the interior to the exterior.The overall design is dominated by red and white. The flooring and most interior walls are made of red brick, wood and stone, allowing the space to form a material sensory unity that extends from the inside to the outside.The façade, on the other hand, is more of a white interface. The warm red and wood colours give a sense of envelopment. At the same time, the large areas of white provide a sense of spaciousness. These two colours illustrate the different spatial experiences intended for the interior and exterior.It is worth noting that mirrors are also used in the interior, with the built-in mirrors mapping the outdoor scenes, creating a 'juxtaposition' between the interior and the exterior, which undoubtedly strengthens the connection between the interior and exterior spaces and visually blends the two perceptions.

 

04 The external gesture of the façade

As a street-level commercial development, especially one facing a busy urban artery, the treatment of the façade reflects some extent, the external attitude of the design.The façade is divided vertically in a 1:1 ratio, with the ground floor façade being clean and simple, with the first floor sharpening its permeability through large areas of floor-to-ceiling glass, thus creating a contrast between material and reality while mapping the surroundings onto the glass.The design demonstrates an inclusive gesture independent of its surroundings and the building but simultaneously tries to embrace and integrate it.The upward folding windows create an outwardly communicative street vending experience, which, combined with the open outdoor dining terrace, subtly creates a resort-like atmosphere.

 

05  Design for a 'camping' experience

From the interior to the exterior, from the space to the façade, the architects have actively expanded their approach to coffee operations and sales, returning the focus from the spatial and commercial past to the original consumer experience.They have attempted to visualise "a book and a cup of coffee in the sun" in the design of the space, trying to create a "camping" atmosphere. In their view, coffee should be like camping, where people who know or don't know each other can communicate and have conversations, a new mode of interaction.Suppose social media is seen as a medium for socialising freely online. Can the inclusive and open café-like business also be a medium for mixing offline? It seems that "strangers and acquaintances alike can come here to socialise" is an ideal and beautiful hope. With the E Café project in practice, this new mode of operation and social relationship may not be far away.

Xitou Greentown.Cloud Land Business Center

The meaning of the modern office no longer lies in a single solution to the problem of collaborative work; Cloud Land Bussiness Center is, as its name suggests, we hope to create a space that communicates with nature and people. No matter what kind of design, in the end, it will return to people and nature, and the original point is the only way to bring everything back to the best state.

Vice President of Greentown China

--Zhang Jiliang

In 1974, in The Production of Space, Lefebvre mentioned the "perceived space" of the general public, the "conceived space" of designers, and the "lived space" of residences. "The Production of Space refers to the perceived space of the general public, the conceived space of designers, and the lived space of citizens. He defines space as a social construction based on values and social meanings.

 

The reflection on the social meaning of space has deeply influenced the evolution of office space design prototypes. Especially in recent years, companies have emphasised shared spaces, garden offices, and leisure packages to meet the contemporary demand for flexibility, collaboration, and efficiency in work life. On the other hand, the increased leisure and spiritual needs of the younger generation of workers for their work areas likewise require designers to demonstrate the shared spirit of the public regions through the implantation of multiple functional and cultural elements. The social construction of space is included in the process of design thinking. 

It all starts from The Garden.

The main entrance is located in the landscape view corridor. In the initial thinking, The designer hoped to find an interior aesthetic style suitable for a modern office or how to reflect the form of a modern office. Finally, the designer thought to design a continuation of the natural space so that the static garden becomes the core spiritual support of the space, in addition to the function is also an aesthetic expression of the design thinking. To create a place where people can rest spiritually.

spring

The users of modern office space have gradually diversified from simple workers and clients. More functional modules need to be implanted into this space, forming a "third space" outside of work and leisure in response to the single state of accommodating the old work-life.

Autumn

The garden is not just a space to look at

It allows you to go inside

It is like something that one instinctively touches

Like a familiar road

you may have never been there before

but you can still find the direction

It is also an unintentional design form

very intentional to make unintentional sense

although the two kinds of "unintentional" are different

For the relationship between the two

both are about feeling the inner world

when you can feel the relationship between the space and yourself

Even if it's just for a moment, it's the best experience

What could be more impressive than a touching moment

Style: It is not from a specific shape but a free, caring formality for the inner world.

Nature- To hide the artificial.

Silence - Away from the clutter and congestion of work-life, silent embodiment of daily life.

Simple - Uncomplicated, minimalist and straightforward beauty.

Invisible - What is behind the hidden glow is the space with depth and imagination.

 

Yixing Yada Sports Park

As everything is born from nature, the design method should also be based on this natural rule. 

Within this space, nature is the main character of the design. In the beauty of mountains and rivers, the design utilized the view towards the surrounding landscape, creating a space that maximizes the connection between indoor and outdoor.It also gives visitors a feeling that the sports center was born naturally from locals. Although it is built by human beings, it is more like a part of nature.

With the constructions of cultural and creative, tourism, outdoor, catering, accommodation and other services, Yixing Yada Sports Park is aiming to build up an interactive small town that encounters fascinating nature, creating a relaxing experience within the beautiful scenery of lake and mountain.

The mining Sports Park is one of the main parts of the planning. It is located on the original location of the old mine. The vertical disparity of the mining system brings both challenges and opportunities to the designers.

After doing the research about the geographic characteristics of the site, designers try to merge the indoor space with outdoor and the outdoor space with nature. Hence, a sense of balance between the three elements is created.

At the entrance, the continuity between interior space and the building can be seen.

The outdoor skin is embellished with rough materials and it helps reveal the connection with nature to the audience. At the same time, the material of the front desk has the same texture as the front wall, which helps extend interior to exterior. The extension of advanced design theory reduces the solemn boundary between indoor and outdoor.

While light is one of the elements that attract customers into the hall, it enhances the relaxed atmosphere inside and emphasizes the element of nature.

In the pool area, the French windows and mirror-like surface of the pool make people feel like they are in a natural-born swimming pool. It makes visitors feel the embracement of nature.

The planometric view towards the mountains and water surrounded is revealed as the mountain reflects on water, giving the people a graceful sense when they enter into it.

After stepping up into the top floor, the windows allow people to take a glance at the variations of surrounding nature. Whether through it is the narrow space on the top of the main hallway or the continued openings on the side, the visitors can sense the change between day and night. As it becomes brighter as time goes on, the heartbeat of nature resonates with the feeling of happiness and peace.

“Transparent” is the keyword that goes throughout the whole design. With the application of glass curtain walls, the best viewing conditions are revealed.

As we look from the top of the building,  we can see people doing exercises inside. At the same time, we are able to see people relaxing outside. An interesting conversation between outside view and the inside movement comes together, connecting nature, interior, and space.

Another spotlight of this design is using the architectural language for its interior. The sculpture-like stairs highlight interior space.

The mining history of the site is revealed by application of stone walls as main facade material. The dark colored stairs design really promotes the whole interior atmosphere.

This design pays tribute to the characteristic of the local elements and nature, and the original geometric specialties are well reserved. The multiple points of  application of wood texture gives a sense of the warmth of nature, allowing the visitors to enjoy the relaxed atmosphere there.

From the perspective of lighting design, the application of multiple linear light reveals the power of its composition and continuous design language of the whole space expresses its modernism.

An the Sweet

ANSHUKA was founded in 2010 on Nanshan Road, Hangzhou, next to the famous West Lake. It is named after the owner’s name "An", meaning “kindness ". It is the first Western-style pastry store to bring semi-cooked cheese products into China, leading the domestic market, and it has been recognized by customers for nearly ten years.

When the designer Leo HU talked about the inspiration of ANSHUKA, he said,when I walk on Nanshan Road, the leaves of the phoenix trees on both sides are dancing in the air. And walking in the shadow makes people feel very good and quiet. At that time, I was thinking about how to present the building in such an environment.

Nanshan Road is familiar to people in Hangzhou, and the memory of the phoenix tree is always with peace. We see people passing by quickly. The fast pace of modern urban life makes it easy for people to ignore small tiny nice things around them. And I hope that ANSHUKA can make a space where people are willing to slow down and stay, to feel the life for a while, even if it is just a cup of afternoon tea or a dessert time.

In the overall renovation of ANSHUKA, the designer transformed the original milky yellow simple wall into a dark facade, supplemented by a golden frame, so that the whole building can echo to the surrounding environment and blend perfectly. We use white and wood as the main tone to create a more natural bright feeling. In order to attract more attention and people, we make the best use of the large arch-shaped floor windows to solve this problem appropriately. Whether at dusk or at night, the indoor activities reflect through the window has become a beautiful scenery on the street.

The arched glass that extends from the first floor to the second floor reflects the lush phoenix trees along the roadside. The entire building's facade becomes alive covered with different coats as natural as it.

Throughout the design process, we used simple materials to echo the pursuit of ANSHUKA in the ingredients. Therefore, we used wood and metal materials in the interior space. The ultimate goal of doing subtraction in interior space is to highlight the product's presentation. When we see the product on the shelf, the delicacy of the dessert is as well presented as expected.

We use glass and skylights to conduct sunlight into the room. When it's sunny, when you're enjoying dessert in the store, you'll be surprised to discover that the flowing lights and shadows have become the souls of the whole space. They come from passing pedestrians, street trees, bicycles, passing cars. These interlaced images often bring inadvertent excitement at different times.

When you walk in as a customer and sit down to enjoy the dessert. You may find that all the designs may be casual. While you sit next to the phoenix trees seeing the light and shadow changes, you may watch people passing by and see the sunlight through the skylight casts on the plants. The gentleness of light and shadow makes you forget the passage of time. You leaned on the sofa quietly, feeling maybe this comfort is just right.

The Le Fit Plus gymnasium

Hangzhou is the city hosted G20 Summit, which has the strongest spirit of the internet in China. As the conception of the internet was born: openness, sharing, and interconnection, the advent of the internet economy has broken the limits of time and space. The new era is gradually optimizing and integrating social resources, overturning people’s thoughts, and thus changing the way people live. Le Fit, a “subvert-er” compare to traditional fitness industry which is based on the internet platform and advocates for “micro-fitness,” has come into being in Hangzhou accordingly.As the chief designer of the first updated Le fit venue in China, Leo Hu needs to challenge the upgrading of scenes, equipment and experience within a limited space.

“An outstanding designer is not only a stylist, but also a product manager who can explore the value of space,” said Leo Hu:“ The ideal of internet practitioners is to pursue perfection and to be comprehensive, but an excellent product manager knows to make wise trade-offs. The most difficult challenge in the design of the Le Fit Plus gymnasium is to accommodate the endless demands of the internet industry within the controllable range.” Traditional fitness venues covering areas of thousands of square meters mainly gear towards high-end people; however, Le Fit gyms are built on the retail scene in communities and aimed at general public. While guaranteeing the engaging user experience, it is necessary to maximize the use of resources under limited capacity,perfectly balance the proportion of different spaces, achieve maximum area effectiveness and realize rapid duplication of profit models.

The ubiquitous lightning symbol is the most conspicuous mark of the Le Fit fitness center . The emergence of the red and silver lightning symbols standing for speed and passion impresses everyone. It indicates stylish and dynamic environment in the gym, and also narrate a lifestyle engraved with the spirit of Le Fit. The image of lightning has also been processed as oblique lines which are largely used in the venue. These powerful and sturdy lines highlight the sense of power and movement in the design, meanwhile, break the flatness and monotony of space and form a rhythmic echo.

“Sports have gradually transited from simple exercise to a natural lifestyle. People go to the gym and communicate with other exercisers thus fitness center becomes the third space in the type of sport. " This is designer’s understanding of the fitness industry in the internet era. Le fit gym is a buffer zone connecting family and work where people can freely release themselves.

The extreme tidiness is one of the most impressive qualities of this space. Glass, steel, and wood, three simple materials corresponding three pure colors, create a calm, clean and clear atmosphere; the dim light injects a warm and soft feeling to space; bright and lively lightning symbols and slashes introduce jumping sense and ignite enthusiasm in the people’s nerves. Colors blend harmoniously with each other in the collisions, and space still maintains a wisp of calmness in the passionate atmosphere, therefore, it can satisfy the need of environment for different exercise types: sweaty aerobics, intense running, or relaxed yoga.

In this gym, people will have the same experience as they do exercises outdoors: central ventilation system and a large number of open able windows purify the indoor air and infuse the venue with the fresh breeze from nature; a lot of glass is used on the facade along the street to bring the outdoor view into the room while delivering a healthy and fashionable lifestyle to the people outside. When the sunshine passes through the windows and sprinkles on the ground, people feel like put themselves in nature. Far away goes the soul, leaves the body still.