The inspiration behind Gato comes from the desire to preserve the characteristics of the old house while infusing it with a modern touch. Hung-Yuan Hsu achieves this by imitating old, hand-painted, and rusty tracery, creating a vintage ambiance that perfectly complements the leather goods on display. The gentle color palette enhances the delicate texture of the products, deepening their character and leaving a lasting impression on visitors.
What sets Gato apart from other commercial spaces is its complexity. It houses a shoe exhibition and sale, a coffee and dining area, a bar, and a cigar collection. This multifunctional space required careful planning and execution. Hung-Yuan Hsu cleverly incorporated modern cat paintings from the client's collection, adding a unique touch to the design. Additionally, new antique elements were introduced to further enhance the space's distinctiveness. For example, Italian terrazzo stone was used in the bar, restoring the timeless beauty of natural texture.
The realization of the Gato design involved various techniques and materials. Laminate flooring, Italian special paint, terrazzo, solid wood veneer ceiling, copper-colored faux rust piping, and hand-painted faux architectural concrete texture were all employed to create a harmonious blend of old and new. The result is a space that not only meets the demands of a complex commercial environment but also preserves the original base's characteristics.
With a size of approximately 112 square meters, Gato is designed to cater to the VIP shoe customers of the client. The space is divided into different areas, including a bar, exhibition area, lounge, cigar collection, storage, and staff area. A smooth and straight path guides visitors through the space, allowing them to explore the shoes, wine, coffee, and cigar collection. The lighting design, with different color temperatures during the day and night, creates two distinct atmospheres.
Gato's design tags, such as jazz, complexity, leather repair studio, bar, and cafe, reflect the diverse experiences it offers. It is a space where gentlemen can enjoy the quality of life, meet, and indulge in their passions. The exotic and mysterious atmosphere created by the designer through the use of solid wood and yellow earth materials adds to the store's appeal, attracting not only VIP customers but also non-VIP visitors.
The Gato project was completed in January 2020 in Taiwan. Throughout the design process, extensive research was conducted to ensure the creation of a classical atmosphere. The strategic use of red elements, echoing the store's sign, brings a lively and noble atmosphere to the antique space. Gato has become a haven for gentlemen who appreciate leather shoes, wine, and coffee, providing a space where they can escape the busyness of life and share ideas with friends.
Despite the challenges posed by the original house's height and condition, Hung-Yuan Hsu successfully transformed it into a space that exudes openness and elegance. The inclusion of the client's favorite cat painting adds a touch of classical style and a trendy vibe, setting Gato apart from its original base.
The Gato commercial space is a fusion of retro and novelty, breaking away from the standard and creating a unique experience for visitors. With its classical, antique, rusty textures, and thick wooden trim, Gato offers a refined space that perfectly balances aesthetics and functionality. This exceptional design, recognized for its creativity and resourcefulness, was awarded the Bronze A' Design Award in 2023.
Project Designers: Hung-Yuan Hsu
Image Credits: Yun Pin design
Project Team Members: Hung-Yuan Hsu
Project Name: Gato
Project Client: Hung-Yuan Hsu