Architecture firm Studiovase has recently completed Roly-Poly Cotto, a restaurant in Seoul’s Gangam-gu district. Designed for popular South Korean food company Ottogi, the project seeks to refresh the brand’s image and appeal to a wider public. The building’s main material is red brick, arranged in different patterns, and complemented by yellow elements (the company’s signature color) as well as fluorescent objects that serve various purposes.
The key to the design is to combine the gardens hidden in two existing buildings into one, to secure the widest area in whole space, and to provide a medium. The scattered six spaces formed a relationship through this garden to perform each function. 7 spaces divided in the order of cave, cube, slope, shade, garden, hall, and sala, have different roles and heights, and provide various sequences.
The main material of the space is red brick. The red brick is a material that contains universality and persistence and builds the structures with gathering small cells. The bricks, which are built with about 100,000 blocks, are like the conservative nature of materials that has kept over the years, and the meaning of the corporate spirit which has developed steadily. The various construction methods and patterns of the bricks are performance that overcomes conservatism. Moreover, the yellow is the symbolic color of the Ottogi.
The yellow gives a completely different feeling depending on the color, brightness, chroma, area of use, so the studio decided not to insist on brand’s symbolic color but to focus on delivering the image of the color. The materials used inside were wood, fabric, and ceramics that are suitable with the bricks, the main material. However, Studiovase used stainless steel for the rhythm of the material, thus, they cut every single segment so that it could feel the temporality.
Cave facing the road is a windowless semi-basement and a space for selling food and beverages. About 400 fluorescent objects hanging from the ceiling make us feel the landscape of the garden. The interior of the space is finished with various patterns of bricks, and 8-meters bar and booth sofa become the axis of the narrow and long space. When going up the ground through a narrow vertical staircase, it will meet a cube and a slope facing each other.
The cube is a space to sell goods developed for the project. The front wall inside the cube, which is finished with bricks inside and outside is shinny by the light through a think crack in the brick and looks like the single large metal shelf floats in a curved shape. The ceiling was hung with a large balloons and lights together gives the cheerful atmosphere and makes it easy to recognize from the outside. The stair-shaped slopes stacked by bricks are designed to sit more actively, and the small grass space created at the top provides an opportunity to watch the whole garden.
On the stairs, various fluorescent ceramic objects of artist, Lee Hyun-jung are places, so it would be the source of entertainment for users. The shades bonded to the cube are finished with roofing material of punching metal to transmit sunlight and relieve the texture of the hard cube. The long form of the shade crosses the garden to the center, but it adds the depth making the layers of space at eye level. About 40 landscapes made with ceramic under the roof put there, so even when the breeze blows, the whole senses of the body could feel at the garden.
The garden becomes the center of the whole space and all the spaces on the ground are directed toward it. Unlike the mass of the hard bricks, the garden differently changes to the season. The garden, being composed of various flowering plants, is designed to harmonize with several firs that were planted in the past. The flowering plants, are sensitive to the wind, react to the firmness of the bricks and show the balance of the entire garden.
The end of the garden is located opposite a small hill using the existing level and communicates with sala. The ceramic table of artist, Lee Hyun-jung on this hill combines with firs to make another space in the garden. The hall is going to open to customers in the future but will be intended to be used for company events or tasting events. The hall, which can accommodate more than 50 people, has the form for multi-purpose use.
The panels of the metal nets were installed to the ceiling, so that lighting, heating and cooling equipment, and sound equipment are not exposed. A large sliding door installed at the front of the hall opens about 6m, so it connects the hall and the garden like the bridge. The sala, last space, is not open space for the public. But the sala’s front is exposed to the garden. On the front of the square, more than 4,800 yellow spangles respond to wind and light, reflecting to the garden.
The interior of the Sala is designed to feel cozy and comfortable like domestic drawing room. The yellow, the symbolic color of the company, was used, but was expressed by various finishing materials to give depth to the colors. Inside the space, there is furniture like a treasure box. When opening the door of the heavy furniture, tools for enjoying music, coffee, and wine, present users’ entertainment. All sala’s windows are also designed to open so that the entire garden can be viewed through the space.