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The Trace Architecture office (TAO) in Beijing sees the art of designing spaces as “an evolving organism, a whole inseparable from its environment, rather than a simple formal object.” This seaside project is an example of this.

© CHEN Hao and SUN Xiangzhou

The design team was inspired by a poetic scene: “An abandoned fishing boat has run aground in a natural bay at the eastern end of the Jiaodong Peninsula. Between movement and immobility, life and death constitute an image of eternity and instantaneousness.

© CHEN Hao and SUN Xiangzhou

This is how they came up with the idea of a café in the shape of a floating pavilion, like “a small, light flying object that arrives on this beach lightly and seems to be able to leave at any moment.” Circles, triangles, arcs, squares, flat plates, oblique masts… these are the components of this design, where the horizon and the sky meet.

© CHEN Hao and SUN Xiangzhou

The architectural experience starts with a ‘trek’ on the fine sand. Walking on the solid concrete floor, the space gradually lowers and opens up to the sea and the beach.

The steel interior has a circular toilet, a square counter, and an open bar in the shape of an arch. The interior and exterior are separated by sliding glass doors which, when opened, provide a more spacious viewing and dining platform.

Together with the roof terrace, the pavilion overlooks the sea level and offers a panoramic view of the village and the hills. 


Nathalie Dassa