Designed by Iranian architecture practice OJAN Design Studio, Carbon Cafe is located on the ground floor of a multi-purpose complex in Mehrshahr, Alborz province, Iran. The client proposed an iconic design and unique in the area that would make a memorable experience for the customers. Thus, the design team decided to create this unique atmosphere by changing the common peaceful cozy cafes to a café with a stressful space. This idea was developed by designing a challenging decor in implementing the project elements.
image © M. H. Hamzehlouie
The Spanish surrealist painter, Salvador Dali, depicts the birth of a newborn human from the heart of an egg-shaped object in "A Geopolitical Child Watching the Birth of a New Man”. The emerging figure, modeled after the central, kicking figure in the Pre-Raphaelite artist John Everett Millais's painting Isabella of 1849, bursts out from the North American continent, which Dali saw as a center of propitious growth a "historic germination" that seemed evident to him during his time in America.
Considering this concept, we tried to design a scene which describes a narrative of a new beginning by freezing the time. In fact, the light glowing from the inner part of the counter plays the role of the birth and dominates the whole project by an explosion.
The counter structure consists of concrete Voronoi-shaped pieces exploded by an abstract energy. There are 35 pieces separated from the counter and hung from the ceiling resembling an explosion aftermath. Moreover, the special proportional concrete mix made it easy for us to cut geometrical volumes in spite of being completely dried.
Furthermore, three different types of seats are used; benches, single chairs and bar stools. Also, there is a metal stairway in front of the counter to provide an access to the second-floor, to be completed in the future.
Carbon Café is a pause in time, an aftermath. This event creates a new atmosphere by eye-catching shapes filling the customers with curiosity to walk around and discover the story behind them. The main concept about the birth can be seen from the street by the shining light from the counter which has been placed behind the window. This scene puzzles the passerby and invites them to a strange, unconventional and unwelcoming hangout; making use of reverse psychology.