Platform_a completes reflective glass and volcanic stone cafe on Jeju island coast

| 1 comment

Korean studio Platform_a has completed a cafe with pivoting mirrored-glass doors and volcanic stone walls on Jeju, a volcanic island off the coast of mainland South Korea (+ slideshow).

Platform Monsant by Platform a

The seaside venue known as Monsant Cafe is located in Aewol, an area bordering a nature reserve and home to a dinosaur theme park. The owner is rumoured to be South Korean rapper G-Dragon.

Platform Monsant by Platform a

The 200-square-metre cafe follows a number of recent projects by well-known architects on Jeju, including a cluster of basalt artists' studios by Kengo Kuma, a sculptural residence by Moon Hoon and the Daun internet headquarters by Mass Studies.

Platform Monsant by Platform a

The simple boxy building is constructed from a combination of local basalt stone, crushed concrete and reflective glass, which are intended to help reflect the site.

Platform Monsant by Platform a

"Our goal was not to emphasise the architecture by landscape, but to highlight the landscape by architecture," said Platform_a, which chose to incorporate the island's traditional volcanic stone into the project.



"We hoped this building would be integrated to the surrounding landscape as a starting point of this project," added the team. "Here, architecture is no more or less than a medium to maintain and extend the existing context."

Platform Monsant by Platform a

While the east and north facades of the cafe are windowless, the west and south are made almost entirely from glass. These wide windows are set in black stainless-steel frames and pivot onto a seaside dining terrace, where a short flight of steps leads directly down to the rocky shore.

Platform Monsant by Platform a

When closed, the reflective glazing obscures views of the cafe's interior to create an intimate setting.

A hole cut through the polished concrete floor inside is intended to serve as a direct connection to the surroundings.

Platform Monsant by Platform a

The interior is given a rustic appearance by distressed wooden furniture, chipped concrete and basalt surfaces.

"The refined volume is designed to embody a neutral piece of architecture through concrete and glass, thus offered as a device to absorb the characteristic of the existing site," said the architects.

Platform Monsant by Platform a

"Such beautiful landscape elements reflecting the locality of Jeju as stone wall, volcanic sand, and basalt rock were reinterpreted into the motif of this project."

A staircase climbs up the side of a crumbling concrete wall at the back of the site to a rooftop observation deck.

Platform Monsant by Platform a

Here, a translucent cube projects from the roof to allow natural light into the single-storey building. It also emanates artificial light from within to light the terrace at night.

Platform Monsant by Platform a

"The wall escapes from the existing role of a boundary and now offers a new space where users can take a rest, while the vertical axis planned along the wall arouses the users' curiosity as well as making them look upward and their movement go toward a new space," said the architects.

Photography is by Yoon Joonhawn.


Project credits:

Architects: Platform_a
Architect in charge: Jincheol Han

Platform Monsant by Platform a
Site plan – click for larger image
Platform Monsant by Platform a
Floor plan – click for larger image
Platform Monsant by Platform a
Roof plan – click for larger image
Platform Monsant by Platform a
Long section – click for larger image
Platform Monsant by Platform a
Cross section – click for larger image
  • Aljndrhrrra

    G-Dragon 😍. Love gin and love his cafe.