Seesaw Coffee is located in a Bookstore on the top level of the mall Chaoyang Joycity in Beijing. Being part of the life-style shop it wants to be independent yet fully merged into the general space, both in terms of materiality and ambience. The site is surrounded by interior landscape and a glass curtain wall facing the outdoor terrace, and it's pre-defined by multiple stepped platforms accessible from one single path. In response to the context, the design features an imagery of “Plank Path - Water Surface - Floating Hut - Ship Deck Gar-den” by making use of the existing floor height difference creating a sunken plaza.
Stepping down from the bookstore onto the plank path, views of seating area is unveiled and displayed as one moves on. Passing by the coffee bar and sales display, one enters the seating area as if walking from the path into water, and then onto the sunken deck. The ship deck feels like casual outdoor step seating. Blocks of wood and planters customized at high and low levels form altogether an outdoor garden, which coincides with the surrounding landscape while offering different options to take over the space. Sizes and rhythms are carefully considered to encourage uses of multiple target groups and social scenarios regarding comfort and a sense of security. The main volume invites you to look to the skyline outside, and rest save the views to the interior and in-between. Customized lamps scatter through the shop as either landscape lighting or table lamp, become beacons of the overall sequence of the space.