top of page



Beijing, China


Gilles Bihi-Zenou





Mercedes Benz Beijing City Guide
Dezeen | London
Cafe Plus | Images Publishers, Australia
Interiors | Seoul
KNSTRCT | New York
Inhabitat | San Francisco
Architectural Digest | Beijing

Restaurant & Bar Design Awards | London
A&D Trophy Awards | Hong Kong

Cafe 27 is a puts all of its energy into healthy living and eating. As such it was important to reinforce sustainable building practices convey Cafe 27's high standard for fresh, healthy and quality ingredients in their offerings through the architecture.

The cafe is retrofit of an existing glass greenhouse structure. As a result the new cafe was imagined as an inside-out garden pavilion; wherein all the elements of a garden pavilion were placed inside a passively controlled greenhouse that connects with its surroundings.

A number of elements simultaneously defined the architectural expression and interior environmental experience. A green-wall passively purifies Beijing's polluted air as it makes its way inside. A massive ceramic bar with pastry display anchors the interior seating arrangement. Combined with the terrazzo flooring, it creates a thermal mass that gradually and passively heats the space in the winter. In the summer the exterior wood trellis shades the glass structure reducing undesirable heat gain, while diffusing direct sunlight to create a thermally comfortable and optically dramatic space inside. Completing the interior, a pixilated hut-like elevation clad in Ash batons provides acoustic baffling while housing a pastry kitchen (visible through a large glass pane), the mechanical system, the public restrooms and dry storage. Finally, the interior and exterior are connected through a series pivoting doors further blurring the boundary between the indoor and outdoor experience of the cafe.

These ecologically sound devices not only reduced the carbon footprint of the cafe but also enhanced the experience of being in a garden-like interior. All the while the shed-like form clad in natural materials with hanging gardens provides a strong identity for the Cafe 27 flagship.

Lukasz Kos
Andrei Zerebcky
Emma Maxwell

bottom of page