In the context of the integration of the Yangtze River Delta, the life of the new districts of Suzhou is differentiated by different industrial layout. Suzhou Bay Sports Park is located in the core area of the Taihu New City- East Taihu Eco-Tourism Resort. It is a good place for tourism, outdoor recreation, sports and fitness, a sea of flowers, trails, ponds, courts, and luxuriant trees. The sport park is well located, with Taihu Lake in the west, an elevated bridge connecting Suzhou city area and Shanghai to the north, and Zhejiang in the south. It provides a comfortable place for communication between the surrounding residents and attracts visitors from many surrounding cities. The project is located in the sports park, adjacent to the tennis court and basketball court, surrounded by greenery, serving as the park’s leisure facilities for the neighborhoods. Thinking from the perspective of a new city, the necessary leisure facility in the park can create more possibilities and imagination. Served as this supporting architecture closely related to the public in the park, it still satisfies the basic functional requirements, and its future possibilities will also be improved from this level. This improvement expresses the tone, care, and development attitude and positioning of the city.
The designers aim to create a creative building on the edge of Taihu Lake, which can become a regional landmark of the park, designing simply and improving the public city space experience. Additionally, people can feel relaxed in the park, and the building can be blended into the environment as much as possible.
The project was originally a supporting house with a wooden shear wall structure in the park. As the core area of Taihu New Town, the park hopes to provide a leisure meeting point for the surrounding residents and tourists by the renovation of the original building. People can rest and drink here, after exercising or an afternoon wandering along the waterfront. The design of the shape is based on the original wooden structure, and the interspersed blocks create rich internal space. White perforated panels and large-area glasses are also used in the design, forming two different facades, both internally and externally. One side faces Taihu Lake, and the reflection effect makes the small building fully integrated into the surrounding environment. The other side faces the court to form a courtyard and establishes a close relationship with the park and the site.
The round-shaped courtyard patterns and the spherical metal sculpture serve for the simple main entrance, which fits the theme of the LIM coffee brand. Apart from enjoying the delicious food, people can take ins-style photos here. Large white perforated aluminum panels provide a bright and relaxed feeling, leading people into the café.
On a sunny day, or when the sun is setting, the single-lens surface glasses make the building shine like a pearl on the grass by the lake, which reflects the sky, clouds, flowers, and pedestrians. At night, the house is lightened, which becomes a unique detached house bar by the lake.
The ground floor contains flexible and exciting open space, private rooms of different scales, and supporting kitchen and logistics space. The second floor is used as a flexible space for various activities. In the lobby, the white wavy ceilings designed with original wooden beams are playfully hung upside down from the ceiling, reflecting the sky and clouds outside the window, creating a picture-in-picture. The light is laid out from the hanging film, concisely and elegantly, creating an artistic atmosphere. Comfortable furniture and carpets enhance the quality of the space without losing a sense of elegance. Green plants are placed naturally and interestingly, decorating the pure white space.
"Architecture is frozen music, and music is fluid architecture." a white-sculpture-feeling piano stands elegantly beside the spiral staircase in the sunken space. The music flowing out from the piano keys is filled with pure space, which attracts you to stop here. In addition, the private rooms of suitable size also provide guests with private area， with excellent quality. The concise line lights on the second floor outline the fully preserved sloping roof shape. The large glass area displays the beautiful scenery outside the window, enhancing the quality of the space. The outdoor courtyard area is integrated into the natural green scene, shaped like the magical brushstrokes falling on the scrolls of the natural park, dizzy and connected. The circular outer pendulum and the bar respond to the site, presenting a picture of natural art, attracting people to stop. In the evening, pearl-like lighting decorates the darkness and brightens the courtyard. Enjoying the night view, people meet here and talk freely.
In this era of rapid development, architectural design always pushes people into luxury buildings, escaping from the outside and enter into our small world as soon as possible. So, is it necessary to create a medium that can attract people to leave their own space and meet, communicate, and interact in the city? Although the design based on the original structure cannot achieve the best demonstration effect of a park, we do not regret trying, which is also a compromise to the project development costs and time. As a supporting building for the city park, LIM Café hopes to create a park meeting point for the public with its elegant elevation design and attractive internal space, enhancing the interaction between people, creating more possibilities. Aside from the rippling water of Taihu Lake and lush green forests, LIM Café is located on one corner of Suzhou Wujiang Ecology Sports Park. It is a pleasure to meet with friends here and enjoy the flowers, wondering, watching the lake and exercising.