IDMM Architects’ Waveon Cafe: A Concrete Sculpture on the Beach of Gijang, Korea

Gijang Waveon Cafe by IDMM Architects in Busan, South Korea

Gijang Waveon Cafe by IDMM Architects in Busan, South Korea

Designed by Seoul-based Heesoo Kwak and IDMM Architects, the Waveon cafe is located on a hilltop overlooking the rocky shoreline of Gijang in Busan, South Korea

Gijang adjacent to Busan (second largest city in Korea) facing the East Sea is famous for beautiful scenery of seashore rendered by inspiringly eroded rock, a wave of clean seawater and groups of pine trees at a height of about 30 feet.

The designers were asked to develop a 500m2-sized building just for the Gijang Waveon cafe where one can look down the sandy and rocky beach anytime.

In fact, depending on where and how we see the beach, the sea shows diverse views for us. Accordingly, the significant matter of this project is how we can grasp and deal with the relationship between natural scene and architecture.

 Place stacking

The condition of architecture oriented to outside view from inner space is placed on the maximization of the length of openings facing with sea and beach. Within given Floor area ratio, void space in the center can be a decent solution to make more seats viewing the scenery. This was embodied by stacking long and sequential spaces that had various heights and were connected each other via a bridge. Wide and long corridor bearing seating space with ocean view deliver internally void in the center and, at the same time, embraces more and diverse scenes from outside.

Seating place

Furthermore, outer space of this building consists of ‘Pyeongsang’ that is an outdoor furniture traditionally used for small group activities like talking and sipping a cup of tea in the community. Instead of setting a wide terrace on the beach, a series of Pyeongsang under pine trees plays a meaningful role as semi-individualized spaces where we can have an opportunity to enjoy meditative time with a cup of coffee surrounded by natural scenes. Obliquely punched concrete wall offers a pleasure to peep sea shore beyond tall pine trees. In rooftop area, we can notice a certain line where sea and sky become the one. In this building where nature and artificial setting meet together via more meditative but playful ways at the same time, we can experience a new type of retreat beyond cafe.