The Paris based firm designed the store conforming to the coffee culture of %Arabica, a Japanese coffee shop brand scattered in17 different countries and renowned for its white minimalist design. This project blends Chinese landscapes, Japanese structural and minimal design and the Paris café culture.
The spatial design presents a horizontal composition with a suggested mirrored surface between the upper and lower section. This reflected configuration is a contemporary interpretation of traditional Chinese landscapes where landmarks are reflected onto water. This sculptural element can also be associated with urban exterior elements such as a tunnel, a bridge and even a skateboard ramp.
The sensation of passing through this steel tunnel turns into an immersive experience with a unique sound and feeling. Furthermore, this form facilitates the circulation between the shop and the courtyard enabling a continuous flow of visitors. The smooth interior and exterior transition was inspired by the atmosphere of the Parisian terrasse cafes and their seating arrangement, where clients watch passersby.
In order to reflect Japanese minimalist philosophy seamless materials were carefully selected, such as the iconic % Arabica Corian finish of the counters and façade, as well as a white plaster finish of the tunnel, created with a elastic oil-based paint. The Glass facade was designed to be as invisible as possible.
Photo © Kobe