Pull back the doors of this Chinese cafe and you'll enter a whimsical world of candy floss bathrooms, bite-sized ballrooms and trampoline slides.
Lolly-Laputan is a new cafe dedicated to children, young and old, in Dalian, China. Designed by Shanghai-based Wutopia Lab, it's described as "China's first educational family restaurant". Although it's not a description that truly does the project any justice. Stepping inside Lolly-Laputan is a detour into joyful abandon where young visitors can canter after one curiosity to the next in a freewheeling mini adventure.
The design concept was inspired by a painting Yu Ting's young daughter made and designers say the interior is a slightly figurative representation of childlike dreams. "One morning my daughter was drawing out her dream fairyland and I really wanted to make that dream come true, so more kids could come and join in," chief architect Yu Ting, said in a statement. "We wanted to create a world between reality and dreams for kids."
Clouds are central to the dream-like space. The main area is otherwise known as Cloudy Town, where rows of cloud-like panels surround a play area with a carousel, hidden tree-houses, trampoline slides and a ball pit. Adult-sized tables and chairs fill the space behind it so parents can sit back comfortably while their kids play.
A bite-sized ballroom for tiny dancers is hidden behind a red velvet curtain, where neon lights, bright wallpaper and several crystal chandeliers await. Just behind that is the front lobby, a circular space surrounded by a "forest of lights" composed of 1000 acrylic lights. The lights are designed to simulate the effect of sunlight streaming through a forest. Even the bathrooms have been imaginatively designed in candy floss and space travel themes.
It's not all lights, camera, action. Families looking for a quieter dining experience can head to the Golden Castle, a cosy space with a fireplace, artificial candlelight and kid-size silverware. There are also a number of enclosed private spaces that provide a calmer environment for young visitors. Soothing spaces decorated in muted colours where they can unwind before heading home.