The Guangzhou Battery Factory, built in the 1980s, is located in the old town of Haizhu District. After the factory stopped production and moved out of the downtown area, the remained workshop was transformed into a cultural and creative industry park. Beside Cafe is located in the middle part of the original workshop. The building is a brick-concrete structure and the large-scale space for production is covered with triangular wood truss at the top. The client was a real estate white-collar worker and tried to escape from the urban life. She hoped to have a coffee space in the city but with a sense of sanctuary.
The enclosed space of the original workshop is taken as a physical boundary of the new space. A new house is built inside the original one with the steel structure, which transforms the original indoor space into the external environment of the new house. The first floor of the new house is overhead, and the center of the second floor is a double-height space, with mezzanine coffee areas on both sides, which are connected by a bridge. Walking over the bridge, the natural garden filled with green is below on the first floor. The garden is winded by a circular path, which is with the coffee tables and chairs along it.
The coffee space on the second floor is open to the center, and square openings in different sizes are set at different heights of standing and sitting. The garden communicates with the mezzanine by creating the pleasure of seeing, glancing and peeking through different openings.
The old roof of the original workshop is completely preserved, and it is sprayed with dark gray wood paint to express the aesthetic of its construction craft and to cover the chaotic members added in the later reinforcement. The linear lights fixed on the bottom wooden beams enhance the sense of rhythm between the wood truss and the space span. The floodlights projected upwards express the delicate rhythm of wooden rafters and tiles through the relationship between light and shade.
The ground of the first floor is cut and laid by both grindstones and floor tiles, forming a winding and irregular path. Plants are randomly arranged along the path to create a dynamic experience of walking in the natural garden. The path defines functional spaces in different scales, weakening the rigid regularity of urban efficiency. People go through branches and leaves of green plants before entering their private areas. Areas are separated visually by green plants. Plants, tables, chairs and lamps constitute a standard set of elements in each coffee unit, and can be flexibly combined according to various usages.