Oh Café 凝味・沉香


This renovation of a sixty-year-old two-story shophouse into a modern coffee shop in the Chihkan District of Tainan is the sixth franchise store of OH! Café, whose owner once won World Coffee Roasting Champion (WCRC) in 2014. We began with the imagery of the "good old days" and took cues from the Showa era to build a flagship store that is worthy of its brand. The result distills the traces of bygone days and coffee smell into a warm place.


The steel frame and iron cladding of the old house are transformed into a place with a refined essence of time. The revivalist woodwork supports the pitched roof with an oval opening like the entrance of a Japanese residence. The reinterpretation of an old Japanese house through new imagination.


The Showa era gold color and colors of the autumn season constitute the main color scheme of the project. The spiral staircase optimizes the space and anchors the circulation of the area near the bar counter on the first floor. The streamlined curve of the design connects several things into one gesamtkunstwerk: the encircling concrete cylinders, the fifty-year-old handmade paper umbrellas hanging above, the aromas area in the rear cabinet wall, and the corner of the counter. Here the enlarged scale leads to the seating and working areas.


The service area at the bar counter accommodates advanced coffee machines, bean grinder, and waiters' uniforms. The colors are restricted to a minimum to facilitate the concentration needed for the professional working area, including the rusticated brown of the counter facade, the quartz stone countertop, and other metal components. The couch area extends further right. The meticulous combination of deep blue grids wallpaper, hinoki wood panel with rush, and the original shade of bamboo lantern fuses colors and objects, both old and new, and creates the beloved touches of a Japanese house.


The second floor is designed as a mezzanine. To the left is a small Japanese garden with a narrow flagstone path. The millstone fountain suggests the presence of the restrooms. To the right is the raised seating area that looks like a floating pavilion. The scale of Japanese rush mats accommodates both gestures of sitting and lying. Whether or not the curtains are closed, the windows by the streets present an order complex to the old alleyway.