Celebrating coffee’s intangible pleasures, Alberto Caiola translates coffee’s aromatic vapors into a sculptural ceiling that is the centerpiece for this café in Shanghai. Gently sloping away from the counter, the striking installation becomes at once canopy and stage for baristas to perform their art.
Dark in color, the ceiling’s ‘fumes’ evoke the depth of the drink itself, winding up and beyond the venue’s glass facade. Lending a sense of movement to the entire space, the installation creates a partially covered area for attractive outdoor seating in warmer weather.
An eye-catching wall installation comprises an explosion of iconic Moka coffee pots in various sizes. Their presence is intensified by a large mirror spanning the space, amplifying the objects to a kind of love letter to Italy’s signature brew.
To create the illusion of a larger space, furniture is decorated with a reflective surface. The design approach sees fittings blend into their surroundings, all the while offering alternative vistas to guests both standing and seated.
Seating areas are partitioned to allow for a diversity of functions. When viewed from outside, a large window frame accommodates customers both inside and out. Meanwhile, an inside communal table is positioned in the middle of the space. Additional bar stool seating lines the right-hand side of the café.