Sometimes patrons need to refresh as much as refuel. Here, SODA Architecture serves up an outdoor/indoor feel within a Chinese tower’s coffee shop.
By Matthew Hall
CUPONE is not a typical corporate-lobby coffee shop. Set within a Beijing skyscraper that’s home to BMW China, SODA Architecture founding partners Jiang Yuan and Song Chen sought to evoke mountains and rivers in the caffeine-refueling hotspot’s two interconnected spaces. The “mountain” part of CUPONE is an open space on the lobby floor, while the “rivers” part is an enclosed cafe.
The mountain-inspired space of CUPONE. Photo: Courtesy of SODA Architecture
To create the feel of a hilly terrain in the lobby, the designers installed an undulating set of 300 vertical stainless-steel pipes bearing a champagne-hued sheen on their exterior sides. “That exterior provides reflection, forming a dynamic 3D visual filter,” says Jiang. “Thus, the color and pattern on each leaf changes continuously with every move, posture and variation on the clothing of both patrons and passers-by.”
CUPONE’s river-referencing café area. Photo: Courtesy of SODA Architecture
The enclosed dining space is dominated by peacock blue walls and an overhead installation of more than 1,000 white acrylic panels designed to evoke a moving stream of water. The overall result, Song says, is an “experience that allows visitors to forget about the monotonous work environments that often dominate office buildings like this.”
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