© Temp / Photography: Weiqi Jin

As a capital city, Beijing is a true showcase of China‘s economic prowess, featuring the prerequisite infrastructure to immerse oneself in the good life. But while for many that means the high-life with all bells and whistles, there’s a growing demographic of consumers that’s discerning on other levels. Equally savvy, the latter group embraces urban life in places that give off a more democratic yet still very much modern vibe, picking spots that resonate with their values. Interestingly, it’s in one of the Chinese capital’s historic hutong neighbourhoods where such a place can be found. Situated in Andingmen, a stone’s throw away from the landmark Bell Tower, the newly opened Parallel Café is housed in a fully revamped building, featuring an adventurous interior design by Beijing-based practice Temp that also ticks all of our boxes.

The interior has been stripped and  then reinforced with steel beams and panels, metal mesh, and last but certainly not least, an abundance of red bricks that not only cover the floor and part of the walls, but also make up a three-tiered volume for ample seating and a sales counter. The original roof structures are covered by stainless steel mesh and partially reveal the older wood joists that have worn out over time. Furnishings have been crafted from light timber, and include angular-shaped shelving and wall-mounted cabinet that further boost the dynamic of Parallel Café‘s linear design. Location: Parallel Café, Gulou Dong Dajie (Andingmen).

© Temp / Photography: Weiqi Jin