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Korean Coast,Heesoo Kwak, IDMM Architects, Café

Stacked Staging: Café Waveon on the Korean Coast

The orientation of the parcel of land is predestined for an architectural style that makes the most of the spectacular location. Accessed via a street to the north, the lot opens onto the sea to the south and east. The structure is built according to these parameters: the entrance lies on the north side, while the side facing the coastline features outdoor areas that were made with love.

The design lives from the targeted staging of the picturesque landscape into which it fits. It does not submit to it in any way, but rather stands assertively against it. This self-presentation provides the perfect means for an atmospheric mood in its interaction with the powerful landscape of craggy cliffs.

Angular and edgy, Café Waveon is characterized by its lively perspectives, which seem to correspond with the coastline. Like independent bodies, the individual levels are stacked as three storeys, creating variously shaped juts and outdoor areas. The priority here is maximizing all lines of sight to the outdoors. Instead of a large terrace, the exterior features pyeongsangs: traditional, pallet-like wooden furniture. They become islands of relaxation and conversation – always against the arresting background and the sounds of the sea.

The tiered structure of the outdoor areas is repeated inside as well. All the levels have an open design, enabling views right through the building and above all, over nature. The ground floor has a large counter; the other areas are woven around a central stairway. The individual zones flow into each other.

A sleek combination of surfaces in the form of exposed-concrete walls, stone flooring in various shades of grey and wood or glass elements continues through the entire café. Only the wooden seats and the terrace floors stand out in terms of colour. The ceilings are textured with rectangular recesses which have been fitted with lamps.

The café is rounded out by a rooftop terrace accessed via a broad exterior staircase which itself becomes part of the lookout platform. Virtually invisible safety barriers in glass enable unimpeded panoramic views all the way to the horizon. Visitors can lose themselves in these views while they enjoy a cup of freshly brewed coffee.

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