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Labotory Creates the Minimalist Café Oriente in Seoul

Will Speros • July 11, 2018

Photography by Yong Joon Choi

New coffee shop concept Café Oriente has debuted in the Hannam-Dong section of Seoul. Crafted by architecture practice Labotory, the contemporary design embraces a C-shaped layout that includes a central court, a theme inspired by the traditional hanok, or Korean home.

The minimalist Café Oriente welcomes guests with an awning above the entrance, marking the bridge between the indoor and outdoor sections of the coffee shop. The curves of the awning meet the ceiling as guests transition indoors with a central court anchoring the interior. Cream-colored traditional paper and natural wood offset granite elements to evoke warmth. The C shape appears again at the barista counter as well as the seating design, which hosts miniature gardens beneath each seat. The semi-subterranean space is also crafted with a curving ceiling to add depth with the help of indirect natural lighting.