EL16.52: a futuristic cafe in Busan, South Korea

Imagine you are in Busan, the second largest city in South Korea, famous for its harbour and its beaches. Imagine walking along the Songdo waterfront, where the country’s first marine cable car is located, enjoying a panoramic view of the sea and the city. Imagine arriving in front of a building that strikes you with its shape and color, which seems to emerge from the ground like a succession of waves.

Imagine entering this building and discovering that it is a cafe, where you can enjoy a drink or a meal in a welcoming and bright environment. Imagine reaching the roof and finding glass domes, where you can enter to sit down and admire the landscape in all its beauty, in an exclusive space.

Imagine being in a place that makes you feel like you are in a dream or a science fiction movie.

This place exists, and its name is EL16.52. Let’s discover it by sitting on the Colos chairs on its splendid terrace facing the sea.

An architectural project inspired by its context: the sea

EL16.52 is a cafe not far from the Songdo beach, in Busan, South Korea. Its name refers to the altitude of the venue’s first floor, which is 16.52 meters above sea level. The place is located in Amnam park, belonging to the Natural Geopark, and its architectural project is inspired by the marine and geological context it is surrounded with.

The arch shape is the architectural element which the entire structure is based on, creating a dynamic and never banal space, with optical effects that continually recall sea waves.

The building takes advantage from different ground levels to offer an efficient and functional circulation to both vehicles and people and the site is accessible from two different entrances, one from the lower and one from the upper floor, both of them easily connected with the two parking levels and to the cafe.

Overall, the EL16.52 building cleverly exploits its floors’ different heights to create a variety of spaces and views to continually amaze the visitor’s eye from every perspective, both internal and external.

Ph. Credits: Roh Hyung

A JOHO Architecture Studio’s idea

The EL16.52  project was developed in 2022 by JOHO Architecture Studio, founded by architect Jeonghoon Lee.

The studio has a long experience in designing buildings that meet the needs and challenges of the present and which, at the same time, reflect the culture and history of the place where they are located. Simple and accessible materials are mainly selected, although combined in an original and surprising way to create shapes and facades perfectly in tune with the surrounding landscape, as shown by EL16.52, a space that was also awarded the prestigious Best Luxury Commercial Architecture Award.

For EL16.52 terrace, Colos tables and chairs were selected

For  EL16.52 outdoor furnishing, the Colos chairs from the Stecca collection and the Colos tables from the Ta collection were chosen.

These solutions are resistant to salt and any weather conditions and perfectly integrate with the project. Chairs and tables’ design and multicolor finishes create an effect of joyful contrast and liveliness, catching the spirit of the venue.

Their inclusion in the transparent bubbles installation located on the terrace on the highest floor of the venue is quite interesting. These glass domes, in which guests can enjoy an exclusive experience, are illuminated at night by LED lights for an even more magical and futuristic atmosphere. EL16.52 is a cafe that will make you live a unique and unforgettable experience, in-between sea waves and the sky, past and future.

Cover: Ph. Credits by Roh Hyung

Malika si occupa di social e content per Cricket Adv. Ha collaborato con il MuDeFri (Museo del Design del Friuli) e nel tempo libero è volontaria del FAI (Fondo Ambiente Italiano).

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