KODE and The Cornerz design “a little forest” in Café Loge in Seoul
Café Loge is a new café venue of EROM, a firm exploring health solutions with uncooked food and various products based on raw materials from nature conducts experiments. The idea of the project is selling self-developed differentiated natural products and various food and beverage and promoting a nature-friendly corporate image. KODE architects and The Cornerz studio teamed up to design this café located on the first floor of an office building in a commercial area in Seoul.
“Café Loge is located on the first floor of a typical office building. The upper part is enveloped with a curtain wall, and the lower part is covered with a dark stone finish, transparent glass, and an exaggerated sign, so it represents a newtown but dry commercial street. Café Loge needed to get out of this existing commercial street, boldly. A boundary of unconventional space was made in the dull city center, using arches that could have firm formal vocabularies based on white mosaic tiles with a solid, strong property instead of transparent material called glass, and through the glass arch, bluish green colored interior space and nature in the raw could be seen from the street. The indoor space was designed to be able to provide a feeling as if one was in a little forest. Plant boxes in various shapes were installed here and there in the café, and a variety of flora were planted to enhance the image of a forest. The wall surface was finished, centering around the doors and the part of the beginning of the curved surface of the window arch while the lower part was finished with white color to bring the flora into relief, and the upper part was finished in dark green color to enrich the space. The ceiling was designed in an inverted arch form that would further build up the atmosphere of the forest, visually interrupting the equipment pipes like ducts on the exposed ceiling, while the floor emphasized the feel of the forest, using eco-friendly timber. A long rectangular plant box was installed at the place you would first notice, entering the café, and a small garden was created by planting a variety of flora. The tables sticking out from big and small plants and soil would enable users to feel nature directly in the downtown area, and plant boxes and seats were made in a green curved form and placed on both sides around the plant boxes, so that visitors could feel as if they were enjoying a picnic, sitting on an outdoor forest. The table integrated with the exterior arches on one wall surface was planned as differentiated seats in which visitors can view the plants planted outside and the street together as privacy would be maintained because of the depth of the arches and behind that, general seats made by putting tables for two together were placed to compose the form of the seats so that they could accommodate various requirements of users. For the right wall of the café entrance, a display wall was planned, which could promote EROM’s uncooked food ingredient. On the 21 round, bored display spaces, raw materials of various uncooked foods would be displayed, and the exhibits would stand out further through the soft light from the white background and the back side. Plant boxes were installed at the bottom of the display wall, emphasizing the feel of raw materials made in nature and being in harmony with the forest image of the entire space. The station was planned to be harmonized with the café, designing it with organic linear and green color materials. For the sub-kitchen located on the back side, using a green curtain in the arch opening on the white wall, the design vocabulary used outside was drawn in a unified look. It was designed for psychological connection in spite of visual interruption,” explain architects