located on the first floor of a historical shanghai building that has undergone numerous renovations, dongqi architects introduce the ‘basdban’ café. the studio team has collaborated closely with the brand founder, baristas, roasters, graphic designers, structural engineers, and constructors, in an effort to generate a comprehensive space accommodating coffee roasting, retail, and event functions.

steel counters, concrete walls + metal curtain partitions realize 'basdban' café in shanghai
a 12-meter-long stainless steel sliding door is designed at the facade

all images courtesy of dongqi architects

 

 

preserving various traces of past renovations, dongqi has realized newly built parts, customized with stainless steel. meanwhile, a 6mm-thick horizontal steel plate runs through the entire space, merging the new design with the old building, in a restrained manner. the central rectangular space of the café is defined as a multi-functional area, with a stainless steel rail system highlighting its boundaries. accommodating lighting, monitoring, and metal curtain partitions, the rails are symmetrically distributed along the columns and beams. the lower rail layer is used for the metal curtains, which can either be put away around the columns or pulled open to divide the space. 

steel counters, concrete walls + metal curtain partitions realize 'basdban' café in shanghai
the lower layer of the rails is used for metal curtains

 

 

stainless steel panels are used to hide the M.E.P. system in the ceilings, while at the same time, they define the staircase, bar, and seating area. the stairs are formed from stainless steel sheets, arrayed layer by layer. the edges of the sheets are carefully shaped to fit the body curve of one’s back. similarly, the movable benches on the right side of the entrance are made of a sheet structure, and the door handle is designed with the 6mm-thick horizontal-line element.

steel counters, concrete walls + metal curtain partitions realize 'basdban' café in shanghai
the 8-meter-long floating bar counter

 

 

an 8-meter-long floating bar counter is integrated with the original structure of the building. collaborating with steel structure engineers and baristas, the dongqi team has hidden the steel structures and pipelines into the cavity of the counter, while allowing baristas to prepare coffee easily. the massive volume of the floating table creates a surreal and paradoxical feel within the interior. in addition, this fully floating bar gives customers a direct view of how the baristas work.  

steel counters, concrete walls + metal curtain partitions realize 'basdban' café in shanghai
the table floats above the ground, creating a surreal feel within the interior

 

 

the project aims to echo the quirkiness of the ‘basdban’ brand through its unique graphic design. mirrors are placed on the walls, spanning from the height of the bar counter down to the ground. this sharp, reflective feature which blends well with the stainless steel materiality, serves as a foil that surrounds the historical traces. one-way mirrors are used as finished on the wall facing the bar counter, behind which hides a LED screen. the mirror finishing extends the horizontal lines in the entire space and can be also used for video display.

basdban 5
the bar counter is arranged close to the kitchen to facilitate preparations

 

 

to express the brand personality to the greatest extent, while respecting the historical background of the building, a 12-meter-long stainless steel sliding door is designed at the facade. when the door slides aside, all of the newly built doors and windows are shown and the original facade is completely hidden. when the door shuts over, however, all of the newly built windows disappear, only leaving the original red brick walls visible. overall, the design for ‘basdban’ embodies a restrained interpretation of the bold and rebellious brand spirit.

basdban 6
the central rectangular space is defined as a flexible multi-functional area

basdban 7
when the door slides aside, all of the newly built doors and windows will be shown

basdban 8
the rail system accommodates lighting, monitoring, and metal curtain partitions

basdban 9
the metal curtains can either be put away around the columns or pulled open to separate the space freely

basdban 10
dongqi carefully selected and preserved traces left by past renovations

basdban 11
the rough concrete floor is polished, and partially roughened again at the entrance

basdban 12
mirrors outside the restroom

 

 

project info:

name: basdban
designer: dongqi architects
location: shanghai, china

 

 

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: myrto katsikopoulou | designboom