Cliff Café + Tower House

Rongcheng, Shandong, China
TAO (Trace Architecture Office)
MEI Kejia, SUN Xiangzhou

Perched on the rugged cliffs of China's Jiming Island, the Cliff Café and Tower House, a creation by Trace Architecture Office (TAO), blends seamlessly with the island's dramatic landscape.

This project consists of two key elements: the Cliff Café, a horizontal structure embedded in the natural cliff and projecting out over the coastline, and the 'Tower House,' a slender vertical residence. TAO's design aims to integrate this harsh terrain with minimalist concrete, giving the impression of emerging from the rocks.

The Cliff Café's flat roof mimics the land's contours, directing attention to the sea's horizon. One end extends beyond the cliff's edge, creating an illusion of detachment from the mountain, as though it reaches out to the sea.

Visitors descending into the café experience a sense of entering the mountain's core. Enclosed by concrete walls, they reach the cantilevered section, where they hover above the sea. A dimly lit tunnel leads to a space with panoramic sea views, including a serene meditation area beneath the rugged cliffs.

The Tower House stands tall like a lighthouse, its compact 4.5 square metre footprint in stark contrast to the vast sea. Inside, living spaces are stacked vertically, each featuring a unique picture window offering diverse perspectives of the distant horizon.

Through this interplay of horizontality and verticality, the Cliff Café and Tower House bridges the gap between land and sky, seamlessly harmonising with its natural surroundings.

In the shop