With the industrialization in China, various forms of pollution have immensely increased, air pollution being one of the major issues. According to an environmental study, air pollution in Beijing has made the city almost uninhabitable for human beings.
When design studio Penda was commissioned by the Beijing-based property developer Hongkun to create a concept for its café brand Home Café, the designers considered this as a golden opportunity to create an interior space that would allow visitors to breathe freely within a polluted city.
The designers have utilized steel bars to create a framework which forms the main interior design feature. The upcycled steel bars are painted black, connected with each other and constructed as a grid that defines the appearance of the café.
The steel bars create a series of cubic frameworks, which can be combined with shelves of different sizes. This gives the owner freedom of reorganizing the grid or even reusing its parts for a different location.
The structural grid offers a space, where various cubic elements can be implemented. Boxes of plants, books and lights on different levels create various densities for the interior. By organizing the cubes, the modular system allows a flexible assembly for different occasions.
Vine plants and ivy are seeded inside some pots. As they grow along the framework and slowly take over the steel, the plants will become a main design feature of the cafes and attract customers to return to a constantly alternating space.
Many of the wooden pots are filled with air purifying and easy-to-grow plants such as spider plants, sword fern and marble queen. Other pots contain a wide range of herbs, along with freshly brewed coffee to produce an aroma-rich environment. The space connects directly to all human senses: rough plaster wall, leather seating and wooden furniture – touch, premium coffee and cakes – taste, the plants and herbs that offer visual and aromatic highlight. Home Café – a green oasis in the midst of a polluted city!