Text description provided by the architects. Located in suburb, customers of the ilil coffee store are intrigued by what is on trend even when they are rather hesitant to apply the new trend to their lives. Being surrounded by familiarity can make us feel comfortable, but can be dull; newness can give a fresh touch to our lives, but it may provide discomfort. The main theme of this project was to keep the balance between the two and to make the familiar feel unfamiliar and to make the unfamiliar feel familiar. The priority of this project was to find the essence of things; being able to see what can be created out of the essence regardless of what it was made to be.
Designers constantly reexamined their ideas to show customers different perspectives, and this enabled customers to embrace new ideas into their daily lives. As it is near a residential area, bringing in the features of home was key to the design. Familiar factors of the home such as the couch in the living room, curtains, windows, dinner table, and a room with window were brought into the design in a new perspective. The overall structure of the inside was altered but the structure of the façade and the wall paint remained untouched to keep the natural vibe to the space.
Crushed stones were used both inside and outside; this provides cohesiveness to the design where inside feels like outside and vice versa. The coffee bar was designed to act as a dinner table where baristas can communicate with their customers. The coffee maker, Moka pot, is placed on the stove in front of the table for customers to see how things they used in their homes can be used in other ways. In the middle of the table where the work table and the bar meet is the gravel-filled middle space decorated with flowers and a small tree.
Materials from nature and home were used to freshen up customers’ experience at the cafe. What seems new came from our daily lives and surroundings, and this comes as a pleasant surprise to customers. The composition of the main space was to design the inside feel like outside. Interior was filled with factors from the outside and what normally stays inside was placed outside. Doing this blurs the line between the concept of inside and outside. Customers coming into the store as they walk from the outside can familiarize with the space easily due to this blurred distinction.
The yellow flat-top cone-shaped table is also one of the examples of seeing the essence of things rather than being confined to its original usage. It was an eye-catching element in that an actual plastic parking cone, and a plate for depositing concrete was used as molds to create this specific shape of the table. The sofa was arranged against the wall, facing the wide living space as in most of the Asian houses. However, by having the sofa made of hard concrete with cushions for comfortable sitting and replacing the curtain with the wooden molding added a fun twist to the space.