TAO embeds minimalist cliff café and tower house into a rocky island coast

TAO embeds minimalist cliff café and tower house into a rocky island coast

trace architecture office reshapes the cliffside

 

Embedded into the rocky precipice of China‘s Jiming Island, facing the vast northern sea, stands the newly completed Cliff Café and Tower House, a remarkable creation by Trace Architecture Office (TAO). With a solitary presence amidst the sea, the small island is located off the northern coast of Rongcheng and is defined by its rugged cliffs and endless sea horizons.

 

The project comprises two distinct elements — the Cliff Café, a horizontal structure which embeds into the natural cliff and projects outward over the coast, and the ‘Tower House,’ a narrow and vertical residence that rises over the earth and gazes out to the horizon. TAO’s design hopes to harmoniously blend this harsh landscape with minimalist concrete to suggest an architecture that appears as though it’s emerging from beneath the rocks.

trace architecture cliff caféimage © Sun Xiangzhou | @suenxiangzhou

 

 

the horizontal cliff café

 

Trace Architecture Office designs its Cliff Café to gracefully merge with the rocky cliffside, with its flattened roof extending like a naturally sheared landform, pointing poetically toward the sea horizon. Its open end dramatically projects out from the cliff’s edge, creating an illusion of detachment from the mountain, as if it were ready to embrace the sea. This deliberate tension between nature and built space is a defining feature of the structure.

 

The architects hope that descending the steps into the building feels akin to entering the very core of the mountain. Encased within the heavy concrete walls, visitors are gradually drawn towards the edge of the cantilevered section, where an ethereal sense of floating above the sea takes hold. The ground-level opening at the cantilevered edge provides an unfiltered sense of the cliff’s towering height. A thoughtfully designed space awaits at the rear of the building, accessible only through a dimly lit tunnel, opening up to frame sweeping views of the sea. Beyond the threshold, a meditation space lit by a skylight creates a serene haven beneath the rugged cliff.

trace architecture cliff caféimage © Mei Kejia | @kejia_m

 

 

the vertical tower house

 

Meanwhile, the ‘Tower House’ stands like a lighthouse as a vertical volume, its slender 4.5 meter squared floor plan appearing as a small dot in the vast expanse of the sea, yet brimming with energy. Inside the ‘Tower House,’ living spaces such as living rooms, study rooms, bedrooms, and bathrooms, which typically sprawl horizontally, are thoughtfully stacked vertically from bottom to top. Each level features a unique picture window, varying in height, angle, and proportion, offering diverse perspectives and dimensions of the distant horizon.

 

With this dialogue between horizontality and verticality, ascent and descent, insertion and cantilever, the ‘Cliff Café and Tower House’ hopes to bridge the gap between the land and sky.

trace architecture cliff café
image © Mei Kejia trace architecture cliff café
image © Sun Xiangzhou trace architecture cliff café
image © Sun Xiangzhou

trace-architecture-office-TAO-cliff-cafe-tower-house-shandong-china-designboom-06a

image © Sun Xiangzhou

trace architecture cliff café
image © Sun Xiangzhou

trace-architecture-office-TAO-cliff-cafe-tower-house-shandong-china-designboom-08a

image © Sun Xiangzhou

 

1/9
image © Mei Kejia
image © Mei Kejia
image © Mei Kejia
image © Mei Kejia
image © Sun Xiangzhou
image © Sun Xiangzhou
image © Sun Xiangzhou
image © Sun Xiangzhou
image © Sun Xiangzhou
image © Sun Xiangzhou
master plan
master plan
Cliff Café, floor plans
Cliff Café, floor plans
Cliff Café, section
Cliff Café, section
Tower House, floor plans and section
Tower House, floor plans and section

project info:

 

project title: Cliff Café and Tower House

architecture: Trace Architecture Office (TAO) | @taoarchitects

location: Rongcheng, Shandong Province, China

client: Shandong Wan Heng Real Estate Investment Co. Ltd

principal architect: Hua Li / TAO (Trace Architecture Office)

design team: Hua Li, Liu Peiyi, Zhang Yiling, Liu Qiubing, Cheng Xiangju, Wang Langhuan, Wei Nan

structural engineer: Ma Zhigang

MEP engineer: LV Jianjun and Kcalin design group

floor area: 581 square meters

completion: 2022

photographer: © Mei Kejia | @kejia_m, Sun Xiangzhou | @suenxiangzhou

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

architecture in china (1759)

concrete architecture and design (704)

residential architecture and interiors (3862)

restaurant and café design (787)

TAO trace architecture office (17)

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.

designboom will always be there for you

milan, new york, beijing, tokyo,  since 1999
X
5