Situated within the Dar Al Wasl mall in Dubai’s booming design hub, India-born and locally raised designer Pallavi Dean’s Roar studio has crafted a pared-back space for the second location of homegrown brand Drop Coffee.
“We wanted the coffee shop to feel as though you’ve entered an oasis of calm and simplicity away from the bustle of the mall,” says Dean, who was up against a bit of a traffic challenge, as the coffee shop can be entered from two different sides. “There is something very unassuming about the space, but at the same time, it diffuses a sense of serenity that I think is very much needed in all of our busy lives.”
The soft pastel color scheme was inspired by the process of roasting coffee beans, which guided the material selection. Terrazzo-inspired tiles on the floor feature mixed tones of rusted brown and dark terracotta, while a sofa and clamp-style tables are a burnt orange tone—a shade chosen by the client to identify this specific Drop branch. Touches of oak wood, concrete, and white wall tiles make for a soothing, neutral background that allows the sofa to pop.
The space invites a range of customers inside—whether one is sitting for hours on a laptop or swinging by for a cup to take shopping—thanks to a standing bar and various seating styles including barstools and freestanding tables that can be pulled together for larger groups, as well as the sofa and banquettes. The central grab-and-go bar gives a floating illusion due to a lighted skirting made from glass blocks and supported by a wooden structure, which runs across the base.
Behind the banquette area, a fun display of broken white tiles carefully arranged to create a lighthearted ornament inspired by the terrazzo floor, as though the leftovers have been imprinted on the wall. It was important to the design team that the interior concepts be consistent throughout and that all elements respond to one another. Following this notion, in keeping in with the structure of the bar and shelving units, a framing element is also included on the wall.
“People love the idea of a homegrown brand,” says Dean. “This Emirati success story is a natural draw for the community. Drop roasts its own beans, providing a truly unique proposition. The menu is priced right, which appeals to a broad demographic and with the various seating options, it serves as a great place to meet, work, or grab a quick snack.”