Challenge: unique project conditions
The project was commissioned by SOMETHING FOR, a coffee brand founded in Australia. It locates in a semi-inground block in a commercial complex in Shenzhen downtown, the top level of which is a commercial parking access. The indoor ground level is much lower than the outdoor ground level, and the entrance is only 2 meters high. The height of the site and the limitation of light bring make its feel oppressive – the unique spatial form is both a great challenge and a breakthrough of the project.
Project site: The low ceiling and the cluttered mechanical and electrical equipment bring the sense of oppression. And because of the low beam, the floor height barely reach two meters.
The project is located in the sunken space under the driveway.
Response: unleashing the vitality of the place
Instead of using technical strategies to avoid the site defects, MOC starts with the intention to build a pleasant and stress-free place that allows people to escape from the massive amounts of serious information currently, and breathe freely.
Custom convertible canopy
Given to the site conditions, the inground interior boundary is boldly set back and part of the interior is designed as the public area, in order to create the atmosphere of an “urban courtyard” and provide a friendly outdoor recreational space in the neighborhood. The side railings of the driveway are covered by retractable awnings, providing shelter for the outdoor space while reinforcing the impression of a courtyard.
Once the perceived spatial planning comes to life, the original site constraints are revitalized, unleashing more possibilities.
View of the sunken courtyard from the block.
With the courtyard area, the project is orderly divided into three zones: outer, central and inner. The outer zone is exquisitely designed into a leisure area with a stepped courtyard style, which weakens the difference in floor height and allows customers to enjoy the outdoor comfort. The central area is foursquare with a translucent glass façade that blurs the boundaries of the area, while provides maximum comfortable seating. The inner zone is functional with the main beam as the boundary, and is used as the bar, coffee roaster and storage space.
The stepped inner courtyard is the transition between the interior and exterior.
The transparent glass blurs the boundaries and the interior is enclosed by low walls to create different seating areas.
The common white granite is customized and texturized exclusively for the brand to create a rustic texture and restful atmosphere.
The low beam is used as a boundary to separate the operation and equipment rooms.
The bar runs in parallel with the beam where light tracks are embedded to provide soft lighting for the bar.
Details of the bar.
The custom cup holders with brand graphics fit in the wall surface, highlighting the brand identity.
Due to the height limitation, MOC gives up the conventional practice of installing air conditioners on the top, and uses the rare indoor units that can be hung vertically, and hidden within the wall cabinets on both sides of the room. The air conditioning equipment hidden vertically makes the space look simpler. The baffles on the top hide the air outlets to avoid the cold air blowing directly to customers, maintaining a more comfortable room temperature.
Hidden air condition unit
Product display shelves and ceiling lights.
Reflection: the public nature of brand space
As the public role of brand space is emerging, MOC takes the public nature of brand space into consideration when planning a project. The post-epidemic era leads to new demands as people’s life is restricted. The convertible possibility of a space motivated by empathy can help us to explore a more authentic social life, while achieving a more socially meaningful brand narrative.
Project Name: Something For, Yitian Holiday Plaza, Shenzhen
Chief Designers: Sam Liang, Yang Zhenyu
Project Director: Vivi Wu
Design Team: Li Juaner, Gu Songyu
Design Phase: November – December 2021
Completion: January 2022
Location: 1F Yitian Holiday Plaza, Nanshan District, Shenzhen
Materials: White granite, tile, wood grain film, sandblasted stainless steel
Client: Something For
Photography: Nie Xiaocong