In the long history of Chongqing’s revolutionary past, the city has left behind many unique things, and one of these is the air-raid shelter, which is a vast and hidden world. The hills of wartime Chongqing were so narrow that most of the air-raid shelters were built on hills. In this unique underground city of fog, the environment is cold and damp, and this is a cave with a “labyrinthine aesthetic”, which is so dark and deep that it cannot be seen from the bottom.
Caver is from the word cave. But caver does not refer to the dwellers who live in the cave, it means the explorers who venture deeper into the caves. This echoes the spatiality of the site, signifying that we are going to have a fantastical exploration.
前期探索 Previous Exploration
When we started designing Caver, we supposed that how to reflect the spatial qualities of the air-raid shelter, and we initially experimented and rehearsed various designs for it. But after our consideration, we decided to retain the cavernous nature of the space. The interior space continues the character of the air-raid shelter, and we have taken advantage of the difference in the ground level of the original cavern and buried all the pipes underground as far as possible, forming steps during the construction process to give people a different progressive exploration experience.
In order to make this door more interesting and give guests a stronger sense of ritual entry into the cave, it was designed to open only a small door for guests to enter, and open another window next to the small door which is connected to the inside with the outside. So we made a number of changes to this door, hoping to find a solution with an appropriate appearance and proportions.
An X was added next to the CAVER at the entrance and the X means treasure. And a mirror reflection was made at the end of the letter X to create an infinite loop so that looking through the X is like exploring a fantasy planet. Before actually entering the cave, there is a transition space to ease the jump from the bustle of the city into the silence of the mountain environment. What’s more, the left-hand entrance reaches inwards for a distance and the door is staggered to form a waiting area, which makes a mysterious appeal due to the skylight opening overhead in the interior with the light from the walls.
室内概览 interior view
There is a curved ceiling above the sake display area with a long iridescent glass, which hopefully has a more blurred edge, ensuring a rich space while better presenting the continuity of the cave. As it is not possible to cut a hole into the mountain, the design of the wine cabinet in the Qing Bar uses the increased thickness of the wall so as to retain a natural cave-like feel opening the corresponding hole to form a wine cabinet function and bring an atmosphere of aged wine to the guests. Finally, the furniture design uses Bauhaus furniture to match the shelter space, with clear divisions between each group of furniture, in order to alleviate the structural nature of the shelter’s own tunnels and also to serve as a functional division. The cardholders against the walls are all treated with soft cladding to eliminate the cold feeling of the cave.
光的指引 Guide of light
The lighting in the Caver is designed to enhance the uniqueness of the space, giving guests not only a different lighting experience but also concentrating on the relationship between the lighting and the space, creating a sense of progression in the layers. Each seat is illuminated with a special light, so that people can follow the guide of these lights, visually wrapping around one space after another, exploring one space after another, giving a different experience of exploration in both visual and sensory.
空间特色 Space Features
场所精神 Spirit of Place
The spatial structure of the air-raid shelter is preserved, this place can keep the memory and historical value that this place brings to people.
材质选择 Materials choose
Terrazzo flooring and walls are made of Chongqing’s unique stone slabs and painted with textured paint to present the cave in its most original state.
空间互动 Spatial interaction
The bar is sunken and all seats are at the same height to facilitate communication between waiters and customers, creating a more relaxed and comfortable environment for communication.
在地生长 Natural growth
The original wall and floor materials are preserved and reinforced, and the wall is artificially increased in thickness to create a wine storage function if the wall cannot be destroyed.
光与影 Light and shadow
The space inside the shelter is narrow, with no external windows and a length of 26m, and the light is dim, so it is impossible to give more light to the space, so light and shadow become the main expression of the space.
The air-raid shelter is supposed to be what it is, a place where we stay without knowing that is the end of nature and the start of the art. Caver needs to be a place to live, experience and feel. We can create a state of mind that can give people an experience, that can move them. People gather here, starting with curiosity and ending with a glass of wine, the metabolism of time and the flow of the world are rejected outside the cave.
项目设计 & 完成年份：2020. 10