Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong
Boutique Cafe; Full-Scope Design
The design of Espresso Alchemy at Miraplace One, features a fusion of artisan building materials carefully chosen and combined in order to match the complex production process embodied in every cup of Alchemy’s coffee.
The challenge in designing an artisan cafe in Hong Kong - a market saturated by new store offerings on a daily basis, is finding a distinct aesthetic that lets a store stand apart.
Metagram Studio (by REPAK) brought together a palette of Iranian travertine, hand poured epoxy terrazzo and timber detailing. These materials, more commonly associated with Michelin rated restaurants and 5-star hotels set a new benchmark, intended to bring a sense of prestige to cafe culture.
These materials are also a deliberate departure from the “warehouse” style, concrete clad cafe, made popular by well known Australian and Californian hipster hang outs, perhaps this offering is better suited to the glitz and glamour of Hong Kong.
Located in the basement of the retail complex, every space has been created to promote a sense of escape and cosiness. Internally, the cafe contains a private internal nook, where patrons can find a private corner to chat. While tucked away, the space stays activated by the high pace activity of the cafe’s chef, framed quaintly behind by a bold terrazzo counter and gold trim. Externally, the design transforms a previously redunant space (below an escalator) into a lively retreat. A series of pergola’s with gold trim have been installed to create that sense of containment, creating the opportunity to suspend a blanket of Edison bulbs.
The lighting, designed by LightOrigin Studio, emphasises this sense of intimate retreat. The objective to highlight the spatial volumes and to enrich the texture of the stone and terrazzo, making it more welcoming and helping to ensure that this previously quiet space behind an escalator becomes a coffee-lover favourite.