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Cafe 7 YAD by Subtext


Located in Dongtan, in Korea, where Shin-li stream flows, Café 7 yad aims to project the spirit of Arcadia. The name itself also came from the combination of letters “Day 7”, Sabbath, the last day of the week when God rests. It aims to present its visitors a place to relax.

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There are a street crowded by cafés and the trail where people come to stroll near Café 7 yad. This duality is one of the biggest features of the site. Design unit SUBTEXT tried to utilize some features from the site and to pursue nature within the space design.

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Café is categorized into two sections: the first floor and the basement floor. The first floor was inspired by the original site. SUBTEXT went on to enhance features of the original site and created a space that embraces nature fully. On the contrary, the basement floor is selective when letting the nature in. A void ceiling in the sunken is the only doorway for nature to come into the basement. These contrasting features of the space offer different ways of seeing nature.

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SUBTEXT first saw nature from the way it is. With an open space and a trail road view, visitors can intuitively adopt nature. Stone or wooden furniture were placed to help visitors embrace nature not only visually, but using different senses as well.

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Then there is the nature that is fashioned by mankind. High ceiling and concrete walls in the basement floor seemed stark and rough. However, it is this rawness of the mortar and other materials that came across “natural.” SUBTEXT reinterpreted the meaning of nature from things that are made by human which was inspired by German artist Wolfgang Laib with a slight twist who used natural ingredient, pollen, to create modern art.

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The first thing to notice is the white mass in the middle of the space. On the white concrete, stone chips are spread to create a unique gradient pattern. Light green furniture were placed on this customized terrazzo to bring the touch of Spring to the basement. Beyond this canvas-like floor with a color of nature, there is a room with a white mass.

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This white room is where nature exists as a phenomenon. Sunken connects the first and the basement floor and also brings the nature into the space. Plantings, sunlight and the sky come into the room through the void ceiling of the sunken. On this ceiling, the water space was designed to capture and reflect the nature on the surface, but the water also lets nature into the underground. Small pipe connected to the water space drips water onto the acrylic table. Using acrylic as a main material of the room was to make the light and water stand out. It also helps visitors to focus on the sound of the water dripping, and the light reflected from the water as it flows through the table.

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Café 7 YAD is space of the journey started by pursuing the ideal nature, but opened up possibilities for different ways of interpreting what nature implies. We hope the visitors experience new perspectives and explore their own meaning of true “nature.”

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Architects: SUBTEXT; Area: 244 m²; Year: 2020; Photographs: Texture on Texture, Woo-Jin Park;

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