Guangzhou – The total area of .jpg Coffee is barely 24 sq-m, so one would expect them to make the best use of space possible by making the bar as invisible as possible and squeezing in as many chairs and tables for cappuccino drinkers. And yet the design of the spot takes it in a completely opposite direction: the shop only provides takeaway cups, but then devotes the entirety of the space to creating a dream-like intimate space in order to link the barista and the drinker in a memorable experience.
China’s rapid urbanization process has accelerated the rhythm of everyday activities –including the act of having a breakfast or mid-afternoon drink. With the spirituality which are now imprisoned under the suits and ties, people are desperate to search for a way out that allows them to let their guards down, leave their ego behind and experience freewheeling social activities,’ stated Wang Xiaowen, the creative director of Infinity Mind, the design studio behind the project. ‘So .jpg breaks the surrounding dense and towering gray tone in Guangzhou with its dazzling yellow façade, just like a guiding light in a concrete jungle.’
There is a beautiful irony in using one of the most recognizable symbols of the fast pace of urban life, the takeaway coffee cup, as a medium to reconnect consumers with the one-on-one side of hospitality
While the café shines bright outside, its chromatic counterpart inside brings a sense of calm: the walls and ceilings are fully covered by overlapped and crossed timbers, which were originally pieces of waste pine wood recycled from the construction site, gone dark through a carbonation process. The light travels through the gaps left by the different angles, surrounding the barista and his concrete bar in some sort of celestial aura. ‘The limited but unconstrained activity space eliminates the sense of distance, and the barista’s intimate service warms not just the customer’s tastes, but also their hearts,’ said Wu Ruimin and He Longpan, the designers in charge of the project. ‘This is important, because in the long run, the distance and repressed emotions that come with urban mobility bring along some insensitivity.’