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Chengdu Coffee Shop Features a Staircase that Extends Out of a Bookcase

Chinese studios HAD Architects and EPOS paired wood panelling with perforated metal inside this tiny Chengdu coffee shop, which also features a combined bookshelf and staircase. With just 65 square metres to play with, HAD and EPOS had to create a space that would draw passersby in, but also offer solo visitors room to relax.


To achieve this, they chose to focus on materials that would either add warmth, or allow light to pass through. This resulted in a palette of wooden panelling and metal mesh, as well as upholstered furniture and green plants. “Woods with warm colours can create a natural and comfortable atmosphere, while overlapping dark metal punched panels keep the privacy,” explained the designers. “These two factors distill a concept – the combination of emotions.”


A set of grid-like wooden shelves covers an entire wall that stretches from the ground to first floor, displaying plants and coffee products. A staircase extends out from this shelving unit, helping to make efficient use of the space. Downstairs, the studios installed a serving counter with light timber details, including a menu displayed on matching strips of wood. There is also a seating area that runs alongside the windows, allowing visitors to look out onto a nearby square.


The wood is repeated in the ceiling, and contrasted with darker floorboards. The designers chose a restrained colour palette, with mainly greys and whites used for the shop furniture. Although the ground floor is flooded in natural light, the upstairs part of the shop has no windows, so the studios used “the integration of material and light” to keep it as bright as possible.


Panels of punched metal divide the space, introducing privacy without obstructing the light. The panelling is repeated overhead, in a series of arched screens that create a scalloped effect on the ceiling. Sections of wood have also been used to create corner spaces, with cut-out sections acting as “windows”.


Daodao Coffee may be small, but isn’t the smallest coffee shop on Dezeen. Office AIO made the most of just 34 square metres for its tiny cork and tile-lined coffee shop in Beijing.