EL 16.52

Busan, South Korea

Celebrated coffee shop EL 16.52 sits on the Songdo coast in Busan, South Korea. The café’s name is loaded with meaning: EL stands for altitude above sea level, and 16.52 signifies the altitude level of the underground floor where the building was built.

Framed by forests and dramatic cliffs, the café sits right in the heart of Amnam Park – a national geo-park featuring sedimentary rocks formed over 100 million years ago. The park is also a pulsating green space, essential to the people of Busan.

In designing the building, the idea was to use architecture to show the difference in level between geopark, sea, and land. Experimental lines, organic forms and a characteristic semi-circular arch form the key features of the building’s design.
The interior was kept bright, airy and minimal, so that the aesthetics of the structure itself could function as an element of the interior design. Giant windows give way to sweeping views across the Songdo Sea and surrounding forest. Concrete finishes create a sense of cohesion throughout indoor and outdoor spaces.

Fritz Hansen products were chosen in a range of colours to bring life to the exposed concrete structure. A key statement piece is Arne Jacobsen’s Drop chair, which sits pretty in the café in a light shade of pink. The chair draws inspiration from the feeling of an embrace but has been designed to allow freedom of movement, creating a unique sense of comfort.

The Ant™ chair, also by Arne Jacobsen, offers another delicate and shapely addition to the café interior. Elsewhere, guests will find the elegant, curvaceous NAP™ chair, the Alphabet Sofa™, the upcycled N02™ and the Pluralis™ and Planner™ tables, amongst many other Fritz Hansen pieces.