Innisfree Cafe — Jeju Island, South Korea
Mass Studies’ design brief for the glass-walled Innisfree café on Jeju Island was to be discreet, so as not to compete with the O’Sulloc Tea Museum down the hill. But the café, with its unmilled timber and sawtooth rafters, is no less striking for it. ’The eastern side is more open,’ says architect Minsuk Cho. ’By lunchtime the sun has swung round, allowing for a pleasant view toward the tea fields.’ Walls of folding glass transform the building into a ’semi-exterior space’, while a pond at the north wall makes the pavilion appear to float. The menu connects with the landscape in its own inimitable Korean way, with local black-pork hot dogs, cactus cupcakes, teas infused with the native citrus fruit hallabong, and irresistible frozen desserts made with shaved ice from the volcanic mountains on the horizon.