Pallavi Dean- the founder of Roar Studio- used broken ceramic tiles with decorative terrazzo combined with industrial materials such as concrete and stainless steel for the interior of homegrown Emirati brand Drop Coffee's second outlet in Dar Al Wasl Mall of Dubai. This post at SURFACES REPORTER (SR) contains more details of the project:
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The firm gets a brief to design an interior that is welcoming and minimal. Also, it allows the customers to reach the cafe from two different entrances-one connected to the outdoors and the other to the indoors of the mall.
Pallavi Dean, founder and creative director of Roar, comments: "It was important that our design addresses both of these access points leading us to place the grab-and-go bar centrally. We used very simple framing to form a structure around the bar, which anchors it within the space and highlights its prominent location."
The firm chose a simple and minimalistic design theme throughout the cafe. They framed the cafe's bar area in pale wood with LED lights accentuate it making it a wonderful centrepiece.
"Their main drive was to achieve a minimal space where the coffee bar is a central feature and creates a theatrical moment – the making of the coffee is at the front and centre stage," she further explains.
By the central bar's side, two symmetrical retail shelves are surrounding both sides of the mall entrance.
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The bar also provides various seating options- from bar stools to free-standing tables and chairs that can be pulled together for larger groups. Also, there is a sofa and purpose-built banquette- joined with uniquely contrasting colours.
A Broken-Tile Mosaic Accentuates the Main Wall
A mosaic of broken ceramic tiles decorated the main wall, creating an abstract pattern just like the floor.
"We sourced basic white tiles from Rakceramics – a local manufacturer – which were then broken on-site to compose a patterned wall," Dean explained.
"We aren't trying to reinvent the wheel by using broken tiles – our idea was to form a counterpoint to the terrazzo effect porcelain flooring as though the chips of the broken tiles were used in the flooring."
Pale Wood Bar Counter With Stainless Steel Countertops
The pale wood counter is covered in stainless steel and connected to the ceiling by beams made of the wood covering the entire bar area.
"The coffee bar has a stainless steel countertop which is extremely sturdy and hygienic but also allows the light to bounce through the space because of its reflectivity," Dean said.
The bar's base is supported by a wooden structure and lighted skirting made out of glass blocks giving it an impression that it is floating above the ground. Nearby kitchen wall also features matching glass blocks, allowing customers to see Drop Coffee's staff's shadows while they work.
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The ceiling of the cafe is concrete and the firm also coated the walls with a concrete paint finish, which is harmonised well by a terrazzo-effect tiled stone floor in white and grey colours.
The studio also used certain materials for better acoustics. "The ceiling is acoustic foam sprayed, an effect that adds to the industrial aesthetic and helps muffle the noise in the open-plan space – not to mention the noise generated by the coffee machines," Dean explained.
Burnt Orange and Grey Hues
Drop Coffee cafe has one cafe in Dubai designed by Omar Ghafour of L.S. Design. The plan is to give different colours to all its branches. Burnt orange colour is used for Roar Stuido's Design.
"The client had this idea that each of the different branches would be associated with its specific colour. For this location, the colour of choice was burned orange, which can be seen on the La Cividina sofa as you enter the space as well as on the clamp-style coffee tables we created for customers to have a quick shot of espresso while standing up."
The studio used orange colour in the seating and on clamp-style tables set along one wall for visitors who want to have a quick coffee standing up.
*Photo Courtesy: Oculis Project.
Pallavi Dean, the founder and creative director, Roar
About the architect
Pallavi Dean is the founder and creative director of interior design studio Roar. She was born in India, raised in Dubai and worked for several years in London. She has also been an assistant professor of interior design at the American University of Sharjah. The architect founded Roar - an architecture and interior design studio based in Dubai, in 2013. The firm has completed more than 84 projects across the region, including SensAsia Spa at The Kempinski Hotel Dubai, offices for McKinsey & Co., The Nursery of the Future, and a string of luxury private residences.
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