percent Arabica is a Japanese coffee shop chain known for its white minimalist design stores that serve high-quality coffee in at least 17 countries. These landmarks, which are scattered throughout the world, not only reflect the unique characteristics of local culture and history, but also create new traffic flows within cities.
ARCHIEE, a Paris-based architecture firm, designed a Japanese project in China that adheres to the globalised Arabica coffee culture. By fusing Chinese landscapes, Japanese structural and minimal design, and Paris café culture, this project unites Japanese, French, and Chinese cultures. The challenge was to create an environment that would enhance the consumer’s experience at every stage and encourage them to enjoy their coffee in the city’s surroundings and urban landscapes.
The spatial design is horizontal in nature, with a mirrored reflection between the upper and lower sections. This reflected arrangement is a modern interpretation of traditional Chinese landscapes in which landmarks are reflected in water. While sipping tea or coffee in Chengdu, visitors can admire the Anshun Bridge and its reflection in the Jin River.
To accomplish this, we established a visible buffer zone between the entrance and the service counter. This sculptural element evolved into the design’s focal point. Its structure is reminiscent of urban exterior elements such as a tunnel, a bridge, or even a skateboard ramp. It was critical to consider the stability and manufacturability of this one-of-a-kind tunnel-like interior fixture when designing it. We used Japanese engineering to keep the structure as light as possible, with a welded 9mm steel plate structure and a seamless surface. Passing through this steel tunnel transforms the sensation into an immersive experience with a distinct sound and feel.