reflects the legacy of tangkou, the architects’ coffee studio at once

an ‘invisible’ volume reflects local heritage on top of a hill

Hidden among the natural scenery of Tangkou with its curves mirrored facade, Tangkou Coffee Studio by One Take Architects, Chinese The village’s past and future — reflecting its rich cultural heritage as well as its modern, optimistic future. marked by a distinctive arched orange entrance, such as ‘eternal flame in the mountains’, the minimalist cafe workshop overlooks the idyllic Huangshan Mountains. The sculptural structure consists of two gracefully stretching walls that converge at a point to form a cross that reflects the town’s religious values.

The studio also delves into the town’s rich history—especially in 1910 by Dr. While paying homage to the nearby girls’ school and hospital – inaugurated by Mabel – it invites the next generation of young locals to learn coffee-making skills to support their livelihoods. Pantin, who pioneered Western medicine in the region.

One Take Architects completes Tangkou Coffee Studio | all images courtesy of the author

in one go the architects place a symbolic cross

Set The cafe at One Take Architects complements it with an obscure mirrored façade that quietly reflects the passage of time, like a floating illusion that melds discreetly with its natural surroundings. The form consists of two French window arches that are delicately swept away and create the illusion of thick walls, reminiscent of the colors of the interiors of the former Mother and Child Hospital.

Two separate lines of sight further connect the two adjacent façades, projecting a complete Latin Cross emerging from the width of the mirror, along with horizontal drainage elements. From some angles, the hidden cross seems to mirror the red cross that crowns the church below the hill. At night the result is a floating Latin Cross light that celebrates the area’s established faith and introduces a new illuminated monument in the mountains for villagers who will see it from afar.

Inside the Tangkou Coffee Studio, the architects restored the structure’s previous wooden interiors with reclaimed surfaces. The central semi-circular bar, overlooking the open view of the mountains, serves as a workspace for selecting and roasting coffee beans and making coffee.

Architects' coffee studio at once, reflecting the landscape and heritage of Tangkou, China
wide mirrored facades hide the structure in the middle of the landscape

reflecting the cultural heritage

The coffee shop was built by the Church of England physician Dr. It is close to the Shuhua Girls’ School, built by Mabel Pantin in 1910, and the Women’s and Tangkou Children’s Hospital. During the Second Sino-Japanese War, the complex was claimed as a military site. Since then, although the buildings remained idle for many years, they have been preserved for their vital importance to their cultural heritage and collective memory of the Tangkou region.

Influenced by the city’s rich culture, the owner of Tangkou Coffee Studio decided to move to the city and started the restoration of the complex next to the new Mabel Pantin Art Gallery. One Take Architects revitalized the existing structure, which now operates as a cultural coffee studio with the neighboring village of Longtan.

Architects' coffee studio at once, reflecting the landscape and heritage of Tangkou, China
the façade culminates with a slender cross referencing the town’s religious values

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