type: interior design
program: coffee bar & multi purpose space
location: Bangkok, Thailand
area: - 100 sq.m.
client: DPU International Collage
Our initial design brief was to create an inspiring coffee space that could facilitate learning environment as well as other various functions with the ultimate goal of bringing the university and coffee communities together. Working closely with faculties on campus, Blend café aspires to become a communal space for students, a stage where they can fully express their individuality, talents and learn more about specialty coffee. The space is located in one of the busiest common area on ground floor in one of the main lecture building (Building 6) on Dhurakij Pundit University.
With limited space of 100 sqm, the ultimate challenge was to incorporate different functions such as art gallery, exhibition, coffee workshop, competition & class and other private events into a coffee space without sacrificing specialty coffee bar look, vibe and feel. This multi-purpose space requirement was achieved through our innovative approach of reinventing the main centered long table with a pulley mechanic function. Working closely with our engineering team, the centered table can be adjusted to three different height levels above the floor; 75 cm to serve as coffee retail function, 120 cm to serve as art exhibition & gallery space and the ceiling height to create a standing room atmosphere, where loose furniture can fill-up the space depending on a diverse function requirement.
Constructing an iconic view for the main coffee bar was our other focus. The bar view must be able to attract attention as well as delivering an inviting atmosphere for customer-barista interaction. Coffee enthusiasts and customers would be able to engage and observe coffee craftmanship up-close with our “Open bar minimalistic design”. From the position of the espresso machine placed in alignment with the back-entrance access point to drip station layout have been considered thoroughly to further enhance customer coffee drinking experience.
The final design has successfully merged multi-functional spaces into a singular “Convertible” café space, breaking free from an old fashioned café design concept. The centered mechanic table that can be retracted fully upright to ceiling height offers a spacious area for hosting assorted events and functions. An “Oversized steel glass accordion door” is another core element that enables the space to overcome its 100 sqm limitation, connecting the café space to the outside community area when it’s fully opened. This freedom also allows the café to accommodate weather and season change accordingly, transforming its topology from an outdoor, semi-outdoor to an enclosed coffee space.
Over the past year, Blend café has successfully launched coffee classes, drip coffee competition, cupping events, exhibition, gallery and workshops to coffee enthusiasts, students, university staff, blending in the communities altogether. The team hope this forward-thinking approach would continue to inspire creativity and innovation among students, designers through to younger generation in Thailand.