Dorae Knot is a minimal space located in Seoul, South Korea, designed by STUDIO GIMGEOSIL. In the heart of Seoul, South Korea, lies a new café that draws inspiration from one of the country’s most basic traditional knots – the Dorae knot. The knot, which signifies the connection between two knots or the beginning and end of one, is the perfect representation of the café’s owner, Mr. Ryan Kim, who has a long and distinguished career in the hospitality industry. The café, aptly named “Dorae Knot,” is a tribute to Mr. Kim’s calm yet vigorous character and is designed using linear gestaltung and a grid. As patrons enter the café, they are immediately struck by the linear furniture made of beech, coated with transparent white oil to avoid contamination.
The bright and soft color of the furniture provides a cozy and comfortable feeling, while the black sofa on the right wall, made of water-repellent Aqua Polyester Velvet, adds a slight air of solemnity to the space. The curved black sofa, along with the natural materials and linear gestaltung, contribute to the café’s serene and peaceful atmosphere. The espresso coffee bar and filter coffee bar are surrounded by Verde Antigua marble, whose delicate and elegant green color, with irregular patterns of white and gray, perfectly complements the café’s calm yet vigorous image. The wall and bar table’s boundary line is arranged to separate the space between staff and guests spontaneously, and the maximum use of a whole slab of natural marble minimizes joint gaps and creates the illusion of a large, continuous surface.
The kitchen wall between the toilet partition and the coffee bar is finished with stainless steel, creating a balance with the natural marble at the bar, while the self-leveling mortar on the floor is cleanly completed with a matte finish without any patterns or stains to give a calm impression. Additional wooden beams, built into the ceiling at regular intervals, harmonize with the exposed concrete ceiling, carefully plastered with customized color to express its concrete-like texture. Indirect lighting further enhances the sense of density and depth in space, creating a warm and neutral atmosphere. Finally, to provide guests with a tactile experience, the doorknob is made of the same natural marble and stainless steel used throughout the café. “Dorae Knot” is a beautifully designed and executed café, paying homage to South Korea’s cultural heritage while showcasing Mr. Kim’s unique character and hospitality expertise.
Photography by Donggyu Kim