jujurwork revives malaysian heritage building as cafe with repurposed onyx installation

jujurwork revives malaysian heritage building as cafe with repurposed onyx installation

jujurwork unveils ms. elliot cafe in kuantan

 

Situated along Jalan Besar, the main street of the tranquil town of Kuantan in Malaysia, the Hock Bee Brothers Building has been a cherished architectural treasure for over five decades. Composed of two pre-war shop lots, the landmark comprises a distinctive 40-foot-wide front facade with a design and history that intertwines with the town’s multicultural heritage. Here, JUJURWORK unveils Ms. Elliot, a café restaurant residing in the ground and mezzanine floors, seeking to pay homage to the building’s history while giving the local community a vibrant place to gather and dine. With minimal intervention, the renovation’s focus centered on preserving the structure’s original character, only transforming the original office into sculptural reception and coffee bar.

 

This space, a focal point of adaptive reuse and creative expression, is marked marked by a multi-layered onyx installation with materials sourced from a nearby stone yard. As both a sculptural and spatial installation, its design nods to the rhythmic, prismatic design of the building’s front facade, featuring custom pendant lights that draw inspiration from antique gas streetlights reminiscent of bygone eras.

jujurwork revives malaysian heritage building as cafe with repurposed onyx installation
the original signage has been retained as a tribute on the exterior | all images courtesy of JUJURWORK

 

 

the renovation preserves cultural and architectural heritage

 

The tiles, discovered by chance by Malaysian studio JUJURWORK in a closing stone yard, now play a central role in the coffee bar’s design. ‘The onyx tiles are now a testament to our connection with the past and our dedication to sustainability,’ note the architects. Affixed to a steel frame constructed on-site using RHS members with aluminum French cleats, the tiles are backlit by an array of LED modules mounted on gypsum boards. The final touch is the cabinetry, fitted into the frame once electrical and plumbing work is complete.

 

The wide facade of the Hock Bee Brothers Building is characterized by five recessed bays separated by vertical fins, and geometric prisms for windows that serving both practical and aesthetic functions of lighting and ventilation. Preserving the historical integrity of the building, the exterior retains the Hock Bee Bros. signage and refurbished art deco windows, leading guests through prismatic maroon doors that echo the original windows and have become an unexpected Instagram-worthy spot. The renovation further maintains the original 1960s mosaic floor, the iconic red wooden plaque, and the restored wood louvers that now serve as dividers between public and semi-private dining spaces.

jujurwork revives malaysian heritage building as cafe with repurposed onyx installation
large glass windows with their original art deco geometrical frames have been gently refurbished

 

 

geometrics and a stark onyx tile installation mark the space

 

Two new entryway walls introduce spatial symmetry, provide access to the ground-floor dining rooms behind the louvered partition and to the mezzanine floor via the stairwell. As visitors pass through, the ceiling height decreases, creating an intimate atmosphere. This transformation has liberated the space that once housed private offices and a vault, now accommodating cozy dining booths overlooking the front café. Toward the back, JUJURWORK inserts two original skylights to introduce natural light and air into a double-height dining hall adorned with long walnut dining tables. Hanging light tubes that resemble floating candles are arranged symmetrically, further establishing the central axis of the building.

 

On the mezzanine floor, restored vintage wood panels create three intimate dining and lounge spaces for more intimate gatherings. A small balcony extends from the mezzanine, offering a delightful spot to bask in the natural light from the central skylight. An old wooden congratulatory plaque with intricate calligraphy carvings, found on-site, now overlooks the balcony.

jujurwork revives malaysian heritage building as cafe with repurposed onyx installation
the reception coffee bar pays homage to the rhythmic design cues from the building’s front facade

jujurwork revives malaysian heritage building as cafe with repurposed onyx installation
the repurposed onyx tiles symbolize a connection with the past and dedication to sustainability

jujurwork revives malaysian heritage building as cafe with repurposed onyx installation
untouched original mosaic floor tiles from the 1960s

jujurwork revives malaysian heritage building as cafe with repurposed onyx installation
the red wooden plaque has been cleaned and repositioned aligned with feng shui principles

ms-elliot-hock-bee-malaysia-jujurwork-designboom-4

hanging light tubes resembling floating candles are arranged symmetrically, marking the building’s central axis

jujurwork revives malaysian heritage building as cafe with repurposed onyx installation
two original skylights introduce natural light and air into a double-height dining hall

ms elliot cafe restaurant
an old wooden congratulatory plaque with calligraphy carvings, found on-site, now overlooks the balcony

ms elliot cafe restaurant
an old wooden congratulatory plaque

ms elliot cafe restaurant
lounge spaces for more private gatherings

 

 

1/1
the Hock Bee Brothers Building has stood as a cherished architectural treasure for over five decades
the Hock Bee Brothers Building has stood as a cherished architectural treasure for over five decades

project info:

 

name: Ms. Elliot at Hock Bee
architecture: JUJURWORK

lead architect: Evelyn Jingjie Wong

location: Kuantan, Malaysia

 

 

designboom has received this project from our DIY submissions feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

 

edited by: ravail khan | designboom

KEEP UP WITH OUR DAILY AND WEEKLY NEWSLETTERS
suscribe on designboom
- see sample
- see sample
suscribe on designboom

architecture in malaysia (40)

renovation architecture and design (789)

restaurant and café design (803)

PRODUCT LIBRARY

a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

X
5