Cafes, tea rooms, fast food restaurants and other urban spaces are increasingly taking on roles that historically belonged in our homes – from our living rooms to our dining rooms, kitchens and even the bathroom.
So when Latitude was tasked to design the BeanBar Café in the seaside town of Qingdao, China, they wanted it to feel like part of the home, a haven where customers could hang out with friends and family.
“Our aim was create a quality space with a comfortable atmosphere… our design intention is ‘café as a story container’. It can contain different people with different stories, like a home,” says Chief Designer Manuel N. Zornoza.
The café covers 200 square metres and is organised into two levels. The first floor works as an extension of the outdoor terrace with a large common area, a hefty wooden table beside the service area, and a cashier. A second seating area on the same level is located under the mezzanine, with tables and chairs for two – ideal for more intimate gatherings.
The designers have deliberately kept to a limited range of materials: black steel for the staircase, wooden flooring and the same black steel for the handrails on the mezzanine, and concrete for the floor and walls on the first level.
“We wanted to make the space more elegant and integrated [so refrained from using a] variety of materials,” Zornoza explains. “A café should offer a serene atmosphere where customers can immerse in their own world.”
Comfortable fabric chairs and sofas, and warm lighting complete the look – and the sense of home.