Shan Café at Jing Yuan Art Center, Beijing

BeijingEating Out

Shan Café at Jing Yuan Art Center, Beijing

The height of style: designers of mountain-inspired Beijing café elevate humble materials to a new apex...

With a limited budget and challenging room size, designers Fei Pan, Zhi-Bang Shao, and Xiao-Han Li (of Robot3 Design), set about converting a space at Beijing’s Jing Yuan Art Center into a branch of Shan Café.

Shan Café at Yuan Arts Center, Beijing

Referencing the original Shan, at the foot of Beijing’s Fragrant Hills, and using common materials like wood, brick, and cardboard, the project became a labour of love; the trio of designers remodelling the single-storey space they were given, working it into a basement and mezzanine; complete with a log cabin and plenty of greenery.

It all amounts to an experience that evokes brisk walks through airy peaks (shan meaning mountain), and the designers’ lofty ambitions are nicely realised; the arts centre’s new ‘free’ café — the intention being folk will settle in for a long innings, tapping away on a MacBook, or discussing art deals — is quite the proverbial breath of fresh air.

Thanks to Pan, Shao, and Li, humble materials have been elevated to new heights, and the art centre’s new split-level café is an exercise in surpassing briefs. Bold and beautiful, this new Shan Café should serve as an inspiration for anyone in the market to stimulate emotion in design.

Shan Café at Jing Yuan Arts Center, Beijing
Jing Yuan Arts Center cafe
Jing Yuan Arts Center cafe
Robot3 Design
Robot3 Design
Robot3 Design
Shan Café at Yuan Arts Center, Beijing
Shan Café at Yuan Arts Center, Beijing
Shan Café at Yuan Arts Center, Beijing
Shan Café at Yuan Arts Center, Beijing
Shan Café at Yuan Arts Center, Beijing
Shan Café at Yuan Arts Center, Beijing

Photography, Xi-Xun Deng

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