A cafe to revitalize a Korean village

A matrix of crossing galleries creates a flexible space that works on the sensory experience of the architecture and on the ability to disassemble and reassemble the surrounding landscape.

Nonspace is the leisure pavilion designed by On Architects to regenerate Hobeop-myeon, a Korean village renowned for rice and flowers cultivation, which today suffers from severe demographic decline, mainly correlated to an aging population. The project area itself was part of the typical agricultural mosaic of paddy fields, characterized by water and related fishing practices.

The central theme developed in the building is the relationship between formal rigidity and functional flexibility. Across the geometric grid's spans, a continuous space unfolds, formed by six crossed galleries, three by three. Using concrete and glass generates unceasing horizontal and vertical spatial dilatation and compression. Walking along these generous and luminous wings, guests can entertain themselves by pausing between the numerous seats, listening to the sound of the water, or admiring portions of the sky framed by the concrete walls. The relationship between form and function goes beyond the definition of spaces to embrace smooth physical and sensorial transitions. In fact, this architecture is both a large device for people to move and explore space and a catalyst for visual, sound, olfactory and tactile perceptions that seamlessly interpenetrate. More than an inhabited volume, the building is a mechanism for framing, trapping, disassembling, and recomposing the surrounding landscape through a game of intersections, collimations, and visual connections.

NOIZ architekti, Family house, Bratislava, Slovacchia, 2022. Photo Tomáš Manina.

The internal finishing of the exposed concrete walls results from the application of rice straw on the formworks, soaked in water to absorb the casting humidity. Postponing the moment of disarmament allowed the rice straw to adhere to the concrete, creating a particular interior atmosphere destined to vary over time. Similarly, the space of this leisure pavilion reacts to seasonal cycles and the related changing landscape forms.

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