on architects' NONSPACE café in rural south korea weaves the old and new

on architects' NONSPACE café in rural south korea weaves the old and new

contemporary architecture lands in rural korea


Aiming to revitalize a rural area outside Icheon, South Korea, On Architects designs this NONSPACE Café as an alluring and modern space for the aging, rice-farming town. Through architecture, the design team aims to encourage interactions between a diverse mix of cultures, its floor plan organized with a ‘woven’ layout to generate intersecting spaces.


In many ways the project merges the traditional with the contemporary. Trend-seeking ‘café-hoppers’ are invited to experience the rural place and admire its sprawling landscape of rice farms. Meanwhile, the minimalistic concrete structure and is built with an innovative techniques which makes use of the rice straw itself — taking inspiration directly from its rural setting.

nonspace café on architects
images © Yoon Joonhwan | @yoon_joonhwan



concrete treated with rice straw


On Architects’ NONSPACE Café takes shape with a unique and experimental materiality of exposed concrete with rice straw. The result lends a ‘straw-woven’ surface texture along the otherwise minimalistic interiors. The architects begin this process even before concrete placement — sheaves of rice straw are laid along the slab form and drenched with water, absorbing the moisture of the concrete and fusing with its surface. Ultimately, the slab evokes a raw textile and echoes the texture of its natural surroundings. These straw-treated surfaces are used along the ceilings, contrasting the smooth concrete walls and flooring.

nonspace café on architectsa landscape of rooftop terraces is designed as an aesthetic backdrop



NONSPACE CAFÉ: woven frames by on architects


On Architects designs its NONSPACE Café as a modern destination for young people and locals alike. The architecture takes shape as an array of intersecting frames, which, together with its landscape of rooftop terraces, creates an aesthetic backdrop for social media content. Visitors might be drawn to the austere concrete, or to the picturesque rice fields framed by full-height windows. Inside, thoughtful rock gardens translate the natural surroundings into a carefully curated micro-nature. 

nonspace café on architects
the gridded architecture is dropped within a rural setting nonspace café on architects
the project takes shape as an array of frames nonspace café on architectstrend-seeking ‘café-hoppers’ are invited to experience the rural place


interior rock gardens translate the natural surroundings into a carefully curated micro-nature

nonspace café on architects
a ‘straw-woven’ surface texture is expressed along the otherwise minimalistic interiors


the landscape can be admired through full-height windows


area plan
area plan
site plan
site plan
floor plan
floor plan
exploded axonometric
exploded axonometric

project info:


project title: Nonspace Café | @nonspace_2000

architecture: On Architects

location: Icheon, South Korea

lead architect: Jung Woongsik | @jung_woongsik

completion: October 2021

photography: © Yoon Joonhwan | @yoon_joonhwan





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