Built in approximately 1900 with a 1940s extension, the historic structure has, in the past, operated as a grocery store, strip club, attorney’s office, and hair salon, among other businesses.

設計師Davidson Rafailidis日前接下當地創業青年的委託,為這個空間進行大改造。誰猜得到呢?這座百年建築的下一個里程碑,竟然是貓咖啡廳!來自紐約的Buckminster貓咖啡廳(Buckminster’s Cat Café)對空間有著非常特定的要求:基於衛生考量,動物與食物準備區——也就是輕食與咖啡的準備區——之間需要有著密閉的間隔,來防止貓咪們偷吃客人的餐點(以及保持清潔)。
Davidson Rafailidis received a brief to transform the space into a cat café for a local entrepreneur, Buckminster’s Cat Café. Cat cafés offer a unique typology, given health regulations that demand air-tight separation between animals and food preparation, in this case, cats and coffee. 

這樣的限制反而讓Davidson Rafailidis能夠拓展其事務所對於「空間間隔使用」的可能性,使其能夠更加彈性的面對不同案件的間隔需求,並同時顧及團聚及社群的共同使用。這個被命名為《Together, Apart》的空間是Davidson Rafailidis在地區帶狀建築計劃的第一階段,作為對於鼓勵高密度建設的新興都市分區的回應,並進一步促進了Davidson Rafailidis設計異質混合用途空間,並使之能夠服務更廣泛的居民。
This requirement allowed Davidson Rafailidis to expand on the studio’s interest in designing partitioned spaces that support programmatic flexibility but still imply and encourage togetherness and community. The project, which the studio has called Together Apart, is the first phase of a continual construction scheme on the overarching lot, which responds to new city zoning that encourages high density construction and furthers Davidson Rafailidis’ efforts to design heterogenous, mixed use spaces that service a wide range of users. 

The building can be accessed from either end, allowing an independent functioning of both halves while still being physically and visually connected. The street-facing entrance, through the brick facade, leads directly to the café and kitchen, where coffee and pastries are served and prepared. The back entrance, which is accessible from the cat patio, affectionately dubbed the “catio”, opens into the rear environment where the cats live and interact with guests and potential adopters. 

These heterogeneous zones meet in the middle at a series of transparent, zig-zagged partitions. The kitchen counter is sliced by a glass wall allowing for unexpected visual encounters of cats from the café. Similarly, long terrazzo benches and a continuous light strip are bifurcated by the separation wall but extend into both zones, creating further visual continuity and connection. Windows likewise stick halfway into the washroom and halfway into the seating area, and the stepped bathroom is mirrored by the stepped cat-litter-room.

At the building’s rear, the cat area is halved by a folding-sliding aluminum façade, which opens onto a gravel patio. A brick wall hems the patio. Stepped on one side, it echoes the zig-zagging form of the adjacent glass partition, and is perforated by a large glass window at the rear. Surface-mounted onto the exterior, the window’s frame is invisible from the patio’s interior and creates the illusion of an uncovered opening, as if the cats could jump out at any moment. Likewise, it blurs the separation between inside and outside, establishing a continuous sightline connecting the project’s various zones.

Across the renovation, the material and colour palettes are clean, neutral, and cohesive, further emphasising sightlines through dividing walls. Black terrazzo tiles line the interior floor, from the front café to the back cat environment, while matching terrazzo counters and benches extend into both zones creating mirrored volumes. Interior walls and window frames are either painted white, light gray, or clad in light wood (white oak plywood, poplar), and hardware is stainless steel and natural anodised aluminum. 

Word: Georgina Johnston
Photo: Florian Holzherr
Source: World Architecture News



#宇思文化 #紐約 #老屋翻新 #貓貓咖啡廳