WGNB's SHLTR café in south korea reveals cavernous courtyards and interiors

WGNB's SHLTR café in south korea reveals cavernous courtyards and interiors

SHLTR: A RENOVATED BUILDING paired WITH NEW VOLUMES in korea

 

Korean studio WGNB brings SHLTR to South Korea, a renovated building now turned café. Sited along the ocean, in Sokcho, a major touristic hub, the architecture recreates the spatial experience of a ‘shelter,’’ with cavernous interiors engulfed in black-toned facades, occasionally punctuated by skylights and openings toward the open waters. As a renovation project, the main requirement was to integrate three different sites into one complex, preserving existing buildings while newly introduced volumes settled in harmony with it. ‘Rather than inserting one big building, we placed a couple of small-scale buildings that blend into the urban tissue, and we conducted an architecture as a village. We tried to keep the sizes of new rooms similar with the former building’s spaces and turned them into necessary programs of a café,‘ writes WGNB

WGNB's SHLTR café in south korea reveals cavernous courtyards and interiors
all images © Yongjoon Choi

 

 

wgnb creates dark, cave-like spaces meshed with daylight

 

SHLTR by WGNB (see more here) unfolds as a series of dark, cave-like spaces that contrast their surroundings, allowing visitors to discover unexpected facets of everyday scenes. The courtyard on the first floor acts as an entrance to the café, with two organic-shaped skylights bringing in daylight and softer shadows. Upon entering the cafe area, the generous illumination falls onto a 7.5 meter-long concrete countertop, naturally leading to recognize the backyard window. Existing columns and walls are adjusted to make both halls (halls 1, & 2) on the first floor face the courtyard and backyard. The outer edges of the building also serve as seating areas, inviting coffee lovers to take in the natural scenery. 

WGNB's SHLTR café in south korea reveals cavernous courtyards and interiors
SHLTR faces the ocean

 

 

a series of halls that frame scenic ocean views

 

The second level is the focal point of this entire café complex. Responding to the site’s blocked ocean view caused by breakwater and handrails, WGNB resolved that issue by planning a podium on that floor, serving as an ocean-facing raised courtyard connecting four parts of the SHLTR buildings. Here, visitors reach Hall 3, where a large black artificial marbled table (2.5 x 5.4 meters) with a Koyoo lamp by Ingo Maurer hovering comes into view. ‘This lamp is structured with a wire spring that sways by even small amount of breezes of inside, mimicking water and trees swaying from wind outside,’ notes the studio. 

WGNB's SHLTR café in south korea reveals cavernous courtyards and interiors
a renovated building combining three sites

 

 

The spatial sequence from Hall 3 to Hall 4 creates the impression of a gallery framing the ocean as if it were an art piece; a limited number of seats offer exclusive views to visitors, while the podium space hosts a seating area where one can walk around and relax under the shades. Handrails are structured in metal pipes, which minimize the distraction of the ocean view. Hall 5, meanwhile, is a preserved building converted into an exhibition space where small windows were adjusted to wider sizes through steel reinforcement to open up more generous vistas. Complementing that space is a terrace area that can be reached via a spiral staircase.

WGNB's SHLTR café in south korea reveals cavernous courtyards and interiors
WGNB coated the facades in a black-ish tone to contrast the surroundings

 

 

Moving to the third floor, Hall 6 offers a panoramic view of the ocean and a framing of the mountains at the back of the building. Low-profile furniture boasts organic shapes resembling the two skylights on the first-floor courtyard, oozing calming energy while contrasting the high ceiling. Ingo Maurer’s Yayaho lighting hangs at the center, highlighting the hall’s delicate presence. Skylights complete the design, enlivening the interior through a transition of light and shadows at different hours and across seasons.

 

SHLTR offers a shed for people to wander around within the architecture while experiencing the mountains, sea, wind, and light of Sokcho. Rather than experiencing building itself, we hope every visitor to have precious moments through experiencing every transformation of seasons or times and discovering unexpected aspects of the surrounding context,’ concludes WGNB. 

WGNB's SHLTR café in south korea reveals cavernous courtyards and interiors
courtyard-entrance

WGNB's SHLTR café in south korea reveals cavernous courtyards and interiors
organic-shaped skylight on the first floor

shltr-wgnb-designboom-full-3

WGNB's SHLTR café in south korea reveals cavernous courtyards and interiors
bringing in ample daylight and a play of shadows

WGNB's SHLTR café in south korea reveals cavernous courtyards and interiors
high ceilings and a minimal furniture design

WGNB's SHLTR café in south korea reveals cavernous courtyards and interiors
cavernous and dark interiors with punctures of daylight

shltr-wgnb-designboom-25

WGNB's SHLTR café in south korea reveals cavernous courtyards and interiors
a series of hall unfold throughout SHLTR

WGNB's SHLTR café in south korea reveals cavernous courtyards and interiors
SHLTR café seating area

shltr-wgnb-designboom-36

 

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project info: 

 

name: SHLTR

location: 97, Cheonghohaean-gil, Sokcho-si, South korea

architecture studio: WGNB@wgnb.kr

photographer: Yongjoon Choi

project area: 397 sqm 

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