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Below the dense cluster of shimmering glass towers that de­fine Guangzhou’s booming Zhujiang New Town, the most modern and futuristic neighbourhood of the metropolis, the red bricks of the JPG coffee & LAB burger mark a small cor­ner of tradition that contrasts sharply with the surrounding skyscrapers and buildings with their bold architectural forms.

The mini takeaway restaurant has a total floor space of just 38 square metres without access for customers. Raw, unpol­ished and slightly irregular, the extruded brick wall front­ing the takeaway stands out from the modern urban context for its extreme minimalism. The storefront was designed by Guangzhou-based architecture practice Geom Design, which chose brick not just for its timeless aesthetics but also for the eco-friendly nature of clay. The handmade kiln-fired bricks are stacked without the use of visible mortar and are designed to be easily crushed and recycled in the future to make new ma­terials with major environmental benefits.

Protruding from this façade is a pair of black walk-up service counters framed in black aluminium, one for coffee and the other for burgers. The two elements together create a sense of depth and introspection within the cacophony of the city, while the sleek elegance of the aluminium contrasts pleasant­ly with the vibrant red of the brick.

In keeping with the minimalist spirit of the ar­chitecture, the takeaway has no logos or oth­er types of signage as part of a marketing strategy that directs consumers’ attention onto the product itself.

Unaware of the significance of the for­ward-looking approach, the architects de­vised this formula in pre-Covid times to meet the fast-paced needs of the modern consum­er, later discovering that it met all the criteria for operating in maximum safety during the pandemic.

Reference: BWR  2 /2020, page 62

Translated by Maryam Hosseini in Ceramic World Review Persian, no.44 , pages 82/ Oct 2020

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Project information

Name: JPG coffee & LAB burger

Location: Guangzhou, Zhujiang New Town, China

Floor space: 38 sqm

Project design: May 2019

Completion of work: August 2019

Architecture firm: GEOM design