The Brew Orchestra

Size: 200 sqm
Status: Completed 2013

The client’s brief is to create a space with a ‘wow’ factor so that it will stand out and have ‘talking’ points for people. The name of this café is “The Brew Orchestra” and our design explores the spatial characteristics of an Orchestra Hall, whereby in this case the performer is the Barista. We created layers of spaces, akin to the approach one takes as they enter the orchestra hall: the foyer, a transition entry zone, the seating area and finally the stage as the focal point. We placed the coffee bar (the ‘stage’) closest to the back, as the final point of the whole space. Functionally this also allows direct service access to the bar from the preparation kitchen which is at the far end. As the plan is long and deep, one concern is that potential customers will not see this bar which is far away at the end. Our design solution is to firstly open up the whole front façade by making it full height glass. We also extend a public path that cuts further into the centre of the shop for the customers to ‘peek’ into the shop without having to enter the shop. Along this path, a wooden wall serves as a display wall for their menu. As they peeked in, we position the dessert display counter to draw them further in. Visually, we also draw attention to the coffee bar by having a dramatic ceiling design that begins at the front and climaxes at the coffee bar. This ceiling made of strings and brass is inspired by the string instruments of orchestra, and the gentle curves are inspired by the way strings bend at the bridge of the violin, as well as the curved ceiling vaults of the traditional orchestra halls. Light bulbs hang off this stringed ceiling, akin to musical notes floating in the five lines of musical scores. Wood is used to create a warm environment, and brass is introduced as a nod to the brass instruments of orchestras.