wooden ladders + tiny houses zigzag through parallect design's cat café in shanghai

wooden ladders + tiny houses zigzag through parallect design's cat café in shanghai

‘Tristy of the CATS’ by parallect design 

 

In the commercial area of Tianzifang, Shanghai, ‘Tristy of the CATS’ nestles as a small café delighting cat lovers since 2018. Chinese practice Parallect Design took on the project a few years back, renovating a disused housing complex to make room for a matrix of connected wooden ladders, pathways, and cat houses across the building’s second and third floors. The result is a pleasant sight of furry creatures enlivening the structures by climbing up and down, jumping levels, peaking out of shelters, or napping peacefully inside them.

wooden ladders + tiny houses zigzag through parallect design's cat café in shanghai
images © Qingling Zheng, Shijie Zhang

 

 

a wooden, geometric matrix inviting comfort and play

 

Adding to the playful atmosphere are geometric window designs sporting various shapes and sizes and letting plenty of daylight pour through. Meanwhile, the architects gave the original facade an equally delightful makeover by framing it with a house-shaped outline that stands out from other shops nearby.

 

For ‘Tristy of the CATS,’ the Parallect Design team used European ash wood as the main material, leveraging its soft-toned quality to build a comfortable and enjoyable space for every cat and person. On the one hand, the building’s steep staircase was revamped to make it safe for visitors to climb, and wallpapers were added as backdrops to take selfies. Hand sanitizers and flip flops, on the other hand, are offered at the entrance to keep the purry creators healthy and safe from contamination. 

wooden ladders + tiny houses zigzag through parallect design's cat café in shanghai
resting areas for visitors

 

 

Café guests also get to enjoy fixed resting areas on the third floor, laid out like the typical back-to-back seating and tables found in diners and restaurants. In-between each wooden block, the architects carved out round holes through which cats can jump and move. ‘Cats are the owners of the space, and people become passersby,’ concludes Parallect Design. 

wooden ladders + tiny houses zigzag through parallect design's cat café in shanghai
a playful matrix of ladders and cat houses

wooden ladders + tiny houses zigzag through parallect design's cat café in shanghai
the original steep staircase was restored for safe climbing

tristy-of-the-cats-cafe-designboom-1800

wooden ladders + tiny houses zigzag through parallect design's cat café in shanghai
‘cats are the owners of the space, and people become passersby’, notes the team

wooden ladders + tiny houses zigzag through parallect design's cat café in shanghai
big round holes are carved out in the seating areas for cats to jump through

tristy-of-the-cats-cafe-designboom-full-2

 

 

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project info:

 

name: Tristy of the CATS 

location: Tianzifang, Shanghai, China 

completion year: 2018

total area: 60 sqm

architecture: Parallect Design 

design team: Zhang Shijie, Yang Nan, Chen Xueqi

photography: Qingling Zheng, Shijie Zhang

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