studio ramoprimo transforms traitor zhou’s 18m2 interior
all images courtesy of studio ramoprimo




traitor zhou’s is a market, bakery, café, and whisky bar. it’s also packed into a single 18m2 room, crammed next to a japanese restaurant and stuck directly beneath a pre-existing staircase. instead of running away, italian-chinese studio ramoprimo took on the challenge headfirst, with a solution focusing on utility of space, and multi-purpose elements. 

the industrial location dates back to 1949




product shelving and wall claddings are created with thin iron plates, which thanks to their magnetic qualities, allow employees to stick information, display images, and other various graphics directly onto surfaces. perforated bricks compose the wall behind the counter, which visually connects the space to the connected restaurant kitchen.

studio ramoprimo transforms traitor zhou's 18m2 interior
detail of iron work on façade 




to avoid spotlights, ramoprimo designed a series of uniform, diffusing lights. geometrical lines define the square shapes and also create a simple, easily-understood spatial organization for details like security cameras, emergency sprinklers, and smoke detectors. the entrance door is the only connection to the outdoors. two iron ‘sleeves’ can be found on either side, placed their to make the façade more noticeable and provide a counter for coffee and drinks.


it was asked that the design reflect a young, urban aesthetic. triangular elements are painted with bright, bold primary colors like red, yellow, and blue, which interact playfully both inside and out. the traditional yukuta dress served as visual influence for the project and gives it a distinct visual identity. ‘traitor zhou’s’ logo is printed, and can be found in several places stuck to the wall like a poster. 

studio ramoprimo traitor zhous beijing china designboom
detail of perforated brick used for background wall 

studio ramoprimo transforms traitor zhou's 18m2 interior
perforated bricks act as a filter screen to the kitchen

studio ramoprimo traitor zhous beijing china designboom
brick wall detail 

diffused lighting from ceiling squares 

studio ramoprimo traitor zhous beijing china designboom
magnetic elements on the iron wall 

thin iron shelving 

studio ramoprimo traitor zhous beijing china designboom
concept reference from yukata traditional dress and the work of utagawa kunisada (1850)



project info:


year: 2015
design: arch. marcella campa, arch. stefano avesani (studio ramoprimo)
location: the hidden city, sanlitun, beijing, china
function: deli corner, breakfast bar
area 18m2
status: completed 
client: okraworks / migas



designboom has received this project through its ‘DIY submissions’ feature, which welcomes readers to submit their own work for publication. see more designboom readers submissions here.


edited by: nick brink | designboom