Modern Chinese cities thrive on architecture, with interiors that almost always answer a nearly maniacal need for efficiency. The designers from Yamo Design have now created a ‘humanistic, thoughtful’ café that’s almost Zen. Kale Café is a subtle, innovative venue featuring a perceptible and significantly unique brand identity, so much that it has been awarded the ‘Best creative café in Hangzhou’ prize.
The architectural lay-out chosen by the designers is as natural as possible: there is a scattering of tiny lounges, alongside small wooden cabins which evoke a fairy-tale atmosphere.
This cabin theme predominates throughout the café, integrating all functional areas, from the entrance to the bar to the restrooms.
Colors are subdued: the parquet floor is a pale wooden shade, the same as the cabins’ walls, while upholstery is in somber green and white is the dominant color elsewhere, lending a hushed feel of calm and tranquility to the ambience.
The only gentle break in this pattern is represented by make-believe, stylized trees painted red.
Lighting comes from above, from clusters of white, rounded lamps. Special care has been paid in selecting materials, which are almost entirely derived from recycled sources.
The ventilation system is smart and effective: besides being ‘invisible’, it has been installed so as to allow furniture to be easily moved around, making space management all the more flexible.
Kale Café is like a cabin in the heart of the city, a real place where the mood is softer and the pace slower.