Xie Xie café sits at one corner of West Lake Square, Hangzou, China. The original building featured an old steel and glass structure. The task of giving the café a more welcoming look went to the Japanese architectural practice Kooo Architects, which has an office in Shanghai. The architects made use of the original roof’s steel beams, which were “magicked away” by cladding them in thin pine boards. Around the original beams, the architects then wove new pine beams in an almost macramé-like way. Everything is supported by pine glulam beams, which in turn rest on pillars of the same material. The spaces in-between are filled with glass, which lets generous amounts of light flood over the light wooden furniture – also designed by the café’s architects – and the relaxed guests.
At the other end, a bar made from OSB sheets and stainless steel contrasts with the complex structure and natural wood of the roof.