Measuring just 40 square metres, the N² patisserie is located on a quiet city street with a south-facing facade.
In order to shield the interior from the street outside, YPYC Architects chose to install a wall of glass bricks across the storefront, to blur the view while also filtering and diffusing the direct sunlight.
“The project is located in a small, quiet street about 100 metres from one of the busiest streets in Hangzhou, and about 300 metres to the Westlake,” founding partner Yan Zhang told Dezeen.
“The facade of the patisserie is facing south but the view is not quite nice, some local stores were across the street from the patisserie, so we decided to design a translucent interface which blurs the direct view across the street but keeps the sunlight,” he continued.
“We wanted to create a very intimate and tender eating experience.”
A globe-shaped clear glass handle on the patisserie’s white front door continues the theme of transparency.
Inside, a row of curved seating with charcoal upholstery is recessed into one of the patisserie’s walls, creating an undulating effect.
“Contrasting with the clean-cut storefront, the curve is the main language of interior space,” the studio explained. “This can be seen in a series of wall seats on the left, and a round edge counter/cabinet at the front.”
A line of pink terrazzo pendant lamps hangs above the tables.
On the opposite side of the shop, behind the curved pink terrazzo counter, the architects installed a grid of square lights that sit flush with the wall.
“The obscure pink glow from the acrylic becomes a very interesting element in the space,” they said.
The kitchen is located at the back of the space behind a partition wall. Here, the architects ensured that the ceiling curved gently downwards to meet the rear wall, creating a gentle division between kitchen and dining area.
Other recent examples of cafe design include Bake Kitasenju, a cheese tart shop in Tokyo with a sunset-hued counter, and Masa, a bakery and cafe in Bogotá, Colombia, featuring large triangular windows.