01 Oct 2016 • Book
Alberto Caiola sculpts the essence of coffee in a Shanghai cafe
SHANGHAI – Celebrating coffee’s alluring pleasures, Alberto Caiola puts a sculptural ceiling reminiscent of the elixir’s aromatic vapours at the centre of his design for a cafe in Shanghai. Flowing from the back of the room, the installation becomes at once a canopy and a stage under which baristas can perform their craft. Rich and dark in colour, the ceiling’s form winds forwards, up and beyond the venue’s retractable glass facade, providing a partially covered area for seating on the street.
Along one wall of the interior, an eye-catching display features an explosion of iconic Moka coffee pots in various sizes – intensified by a large mirror spanning the length of the space – which is a testament to the cafe’s love for the signature brew. To create an illusion of a larger space, furniture is finished with a reflective surface.
The design approach sees fittings effectively blend into the surroundings, while offering alternative vistas to guests both standing and seated. A stark combination of textures creates an interesting contrast, with sleek new elements positioned against exposed brick walls. This aspect brings a historical element to the space; the building’s shikumen bricks are part of a traditional, turn-of-the-century housing style typical of Shanghai.
Photos Dirk Weiblen.
This project will appear in our next hospitality design book Night Fever 5. More information about this title can be found at: http://store.frameweb.com/night-fever-5