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Office AIO designs cafe with pink and artistic interiors in a renovated historic building in Beijing
China Architecture News - Dec 03, 2020 - 13:45 5822 views
Called Basic Coffee, the 30-square-metre space is used for cafe and mini co-working area, the cafe was a key tenant of a co-working hub with a goal to activate the newly gentrified commercial zone of XianYuKou, Beijing, through providing quality artisan coffee beverages to its neighbours and visiting tourists.
Sitting on a rectangular plan, the pinkish tones of the interiors mark the cafe from afar, while its curved bar bench and suspended aluminium perforated screen above are another elements added to the space.
Responding to the client's brief with “good coffee is norm”, Office AIO challenged to spin the impression of a generic cafe from the conventional “making of” to “the enjoyment of” coffee.
"This is achieved by a spatial arrangement that inverts the relationship from one that features the fanciest of tools and showmanship of baristas, to one aimed at capturing something that is much less tangible - one's senses," said the office.
Office AIO's design focuses on establishing a series of “framed views” into the café, by orchestrating a play of light and obscurity. Visitors are able to perceive the cafe by seeing its window.
This sense of mystery and curiosity is made possible by a concentric spatial organisation, originated from a concealed coffee-making area, wrapped by a ‘veiled’ entry gallery and a curved seating area on the outermost layer.
As the studio highlights, the journey begins with entering into a thin slice of volume enveloped by a suspended aluminium perforated screen above the bar bench, revealing a partial view of the seating area.
"Coffee order takes place at the junction between entry gallery and the large window facing the street, where the barista is strategically positioned to serve both dine-in and takeaway customers, sculpted as an exaggerated one-point perspective scene," added the studio.
"A fissure is created adjacent to an illuminating wall, dramatising the display of pour-over coffee preparation."
The studio described the project as "re-discover coffee drinking through orchestrated framed view". To craft the passage, Office AIO created a pastel brand colour, the minimal but profound design language as well as a playful and unexpected spatial journey.
"These elements yield an experience that allows the patrons to experience the space through observing a series of orchestrated movements, experience coffee-drinking through focusing their senses on sounds, olfaction and flavours," according to the firm.
It is like a live ad, these “framed views” increase different motions, “performed” by all parties in the cafe. The suggestiveness in partially concealed acts of indulging in coffee, muffled chatters, and sound and smells of coffee-making, arouse one’s curiosity and appetite.
As a result, these subtly evocative stimulus underscore Basic Coffee's value, coffee made to savour as it is and enjoyed intimately in a delicate 30 square meters of space.
Project name: Basic Coffee
Architects: Office AIO
Location: Beijing, China
All images © Yujie Liu
Drawing © Office AIO
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