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Breathing New Life into Café Culture: A Focus on Multifunctional Café Spaces

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Breathing New Life into Café Culture: A Focus on Multifunctional Café Spaces

Over the years, cafes and cafes have become much more than just a place to acquire a delicious brew. Since the establishment of the first cafes, they have been used as social gathering places and meeting points for the public. Along with the development of cafes comes “coffee culture,” a set of traditions and rules regarding how coffees are used and how these delicious brews are enjoyed.

Cafes are everywhere, not just on the main streets of our city, but loved worldwide. They offer a warm and inviting atmosphere, with an emphasis on the ambience and aesthetics of the space as well as the services they offer, with some cafes hosting multiple functions beyond just beer. Therefore, the question arises: how do today’s cafes tap into creating new spaces that are interesting and bring beloved culture back to life?

9 ¾ Bookstore + Café / PLASMA NODO.  Image © Daniel MejiaOption Café Bar / TOUCH Architect.  Image © Métipat PrommomateOhvenu Café / YOLLLLEY STUDIO.  Photo © Yong-joon ChoiOffice / GASPARBONTA.  Photo © Balint Jaksa+ 34

Located in Chaoyang, China, Blufish Yingke is a cafe by day and a bar by night. SODA Architects combines physical spatial morphologies with virtual dynamic images, allowing the atmosphere of space to change over time.


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During the day, the sleek, pure white setting provides a quiet place for people in a hurry to rest here. As night falls, swaying corals and swimmers take center stage. Throughout the day and night, this 30 square meter space oscillates between café and bar. The pure white background and the stunning images impart the emotions of the space, making it changeable and fascinating.

Blufish Cafe Yingke.  Image © Xiyu Chen
Blufish Cafe Yingke. Image © Xiyu Chen

Option Coffee Bar designed by KEY Architect is located in downtown Udonthani, Thailand. There are three main functions of the space: café, restaurant and bar, united in one space with time-sharing functions; café and bakery, a restaurant in the morning, while serving as a craft beer bar in the evening.

A simple white box was created to show the contrast of the background, focusing on the artistic elements inside. This makes it easier to grab the attention of people around the site while generating a “simply different” atmosphere using all black and white materials. This box allows natural sunlight from outside to inside during the day for a coffee, while creating a coloring effect from indoor multi-color lighting during the night like a bar, sparking the client sensations by changing emotions over the timeline.

Option Café Bar / TOUCH Architect.  Image © Métipat Prommomate
Option Café Bar / TOUCH Architect. Image © Métipat Prommomate

COFFICE is a multi-level initiative designed by GASPARBONTA & Partners. The basic concept is a smart combination of a casual cafe, a coworking space and a bar, in the same space. Each function occurs at a different time of day, while the size and openness of the spaces needed by users keep varying, yet they must represent different moods.

Yet with continuity it has some comfort for those studying during the day and an alternative for those having a cocktail in the evening, for a place to study, work or have a coffee during the day. Work, drink, sleep, repeat.

Office / GASPARBONTA.  Photo © Balint Jaksa
Office / GASPARBONTA. Photo © Balint Jaksa
Office / GASPARBONTA.  Photo © Balint Jaksa
Office / GASPARBONTA. Photo © Balint Jaksa

Ohvenu Cafe designed by STUDIO YOLLLEY is a space composed of an interior space and an exterior terrace. At sunset, the interior space transforms into a monotonous terrace while the setting sun presents a magnificent view through the gap between the buildings surrounding this space.

The design team intentionally exaggerated the scale of the door that leads to the terrace at the end of the bar counter, blurring the boundary between the interior space and the terrace taking in the sunset and nighttime view of the city. in the interior space.

Ohvenu Café / YOLLLLEY STUDIO.  Photo © Yong-joon Choi
Ohvenu Café / YOLLLLEY STUDIO. Photo © Yong-joon Choi
Ohvenu Café / YOLLLLEY STUDIO.  Photo © Yong-joon Choi
Ohvenu Café / YOLLLLEY STUDIO. Photo © Yong-joon Choi

Rong Bao Zhai Coffee Bookstore by ARCHSTUDIO is a project located on a well-known street in Beijing called Liulichang, originally a bookstore selling Chinese paintings, calligraphy publications and antique books. In an attempt to modernize its premises as a traditional bookstore, the company intends to combine both bookstore and cafe, attracting more readers with its compound business model and diverse experiences.

Accompanied by a cup of fragrant coffee, individuals connect with others, books and nature, creating a relaxing and comfortable slow-paced reading environment. In order to change the heavy and rigid images of traditional bookstores, new designs use transparent and lightweight iron shelves to integrate functions, transportation, equipment and lighting, and put green plants in the stores to make their space internal more continuous and open as well as full of vitality.

Rong Bao Zhai Cafe Bookstore / ARCHSTUDIO.  Photo © Wang Ning
Rong Bao Zhai Cafe Bookstore / ARCHSTUDIO. Photo © Wang Ning
Rong Bao Zhai Cafe Bookstore / ARCHSTUDIO.  Photo © Wang Ning
Rong Bao Zhai Cafe Bookstore / ARCHSTUDIO. Photo © Wang Ning

9 ¾ Bookstore + Café, designed by PLASMA NODO, is a café-bookstore specializing in children, although adults are also welcome to have fun. The company believes that cities need warm and pleasant meeting places that welcome us and invite us to learn while having fun with our families and friends, places where people not only shop but go to have a good time.

Spaces for 9 ¾ are little hideouts or places where they can draw, rest and play while learning and enjoying a good book. For older children, there are private reading rooms and also tables to share, all surrounded by warm materials, furniture and decorative objects that speak of the joy that a good story, a good book gives us. . They believe in imagination, in magic, in dreams, in memories. They believe the best ideas and conversations come easily with a good cup of coffee.

9 ¾ Bookstore + Café / PLASMA NODO.  Image © Daniel Mejia
9 ¾ Bookstore + Café / PLASMA NODO. Image © Daniel Mejia
9 ¾ Bookstore + Café / PLASMA NODO.  Image © Daniel Mejia
9 ¾ Bookstore + Café / PLASMA NODO. Image © Daniel Mejia

Today, we associate the place of the coffee shop with things other than the fact of consuming coffee. It’s an office space for students and workers, a place to chat, socialize and more. Coffee culture now goes beyond a simple coffee break, and will continue to evolve to incorporate new purposes to be fulfilled.