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The 30m square café has been transformed into a film-like experience for customers | Photo source

Chinese coffee shop designed to feel like a living advert


The design features creatively placed partitions that freeze-frame moments and highlight the experience of drinking coffee

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Spotted: Chinese design studio, Office-Aio, has created a space designed to immerse customers in the smell and sound of drinking coffee. The design serves to enrich the experience by spotlighting moments at the Basic Coffee café in Beijing, according to Office-Aio.

The 30m square café has been transformed into a film-like experience for customers. It uses partitions to create “framed views” that highlight the “performance” of enjoying a good cup of coffee. That sensation is underscored by the use of light, which highlights moments in the process of making and enjoying coffee.

Designers also used partitions to block the machinery of coffee brewing, which is usually the focus of a cafe. Instead, customers are greeted by the smell and sound of the coffee being made only. When they enter Basic Coffee café, their view of the kitchen is blocked by a hanging metal screen, which highlights the customers drinking coffee, but provides a limited perspective, echoing the idea of a captured moment. The screen also forces customers to follow a circular path to the barista. While walking down the corridor, they can smell and hear the sounds of the café but cannot see it. 

Ordering is done at a strategic point, between the brewing area and the take-out window. A wall near where the barista pours the coffee is backlit, adding drama to the experience, the design team says.




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