Architectural firm Latitude Studio has a view that: “Cafés, tearooms, dry cleaners, fast food restaurants and other urban spaces are taking on roles that historically belonged to our homes, from our living and dining rooms to our kitchens, bathrooms, and storage spaces. Nowadays, a café is a cosy place for friendship in the big city. It provides a space to share, and sell, a moment to complete our day. In this way, cafés are part of the modern city but also represent what they are replacing: our own home.”
BeanBar Café, designed by Latitude Studio, is located on the seaside at Qingdao, Shandong province. This 200-square-metre café aims to be open and accessible to both the day tripper and the Qingdao resident.
The space is organised into two levels. The first floor works as an extension of the outside terrace with a large common area, a hefty wooden table beside the service area, and a cashier. A second seating area on the first floor is under the mezzanine, with tables and chairs for two – making this part of the space ideal for dates. A black steel staircase leads up to the mezzanine, which looks out onto the street and the extra-large café entrance.
The design language is based on a limited range of materials: black steel forms the handrail of the second floor mezzanine as well as the staircase, and creates a shelf behind the cashier. Concrete walls and flooring provide the main elements in the first floor, while the mezzanine enjoys wooden floors. The furniture is selected to contrast with the steel and concrete, with comfortable fabric chairs and sofas along with warm lighting.
The café is designed to hold tables for one to groups of eight, from business meetings to parties, giving a versatile feeling and a sense of place.
Images © Latitude Studio