These Designs are your Perfect Blend of Contemporary Aesthetics and Artisan Coffee The contemporary café is not just a nexus of creative energy and social activity, it is also a hotspot for architectural design innovation. We at THE PLUS have collected three of our favourite contemporary café designs from around the world for you to check off your list. We also got some handy insights from each café’s lead designer. 1. RED Arquitectos’s refreshing design for Impetus Café puts speciality coffee into focus. Located in Veracruz, Mexico, this design was a collaboration between Angelica Azamar, Ruben Mercado, Felipe Diaz, and led by RED Arquitectos CEO Susana López González. Impetus’s sophisticated contemporary design brews an atmosphere where enjoyment of coffee meets comfort. Total size: 48m2 Materials: Interceramic White Astratto, Cemex, Tecnolite. THE PLUS: What’s the one most important design feature of a café? Susana López González: The most important feature is the bar. Sleek and minimalist, it should allow every visitor to watch the skilled baristas brewing coffee with extraordinary passion. TP: What do you think a good café should have? SLG: A coffee bar should concept must include several distinctive elements: colours, light fixtures and furniture set the right atmosphere. In Impetus, it’s all about supreme quality and total customer experience. All design elements were designed to enhance the experience. TP: Favourite coffee? SLG: For me, cold brew. TP: Which three words best describe your design philosophy? SLG: Empathy, intention, honesty. TP: Which three words best describe the experience of being inside Impetus? SLG: Simple, fresh, driven. TP: Minimalism or homeliness? SLG: Minimalistic cosiness TP: Experimentation or thorough-planning? SLG: Thorough-planning from head to toe. Photo: Armando Ascorve 2. In Buriram, Thailand, Sake Architects turned an old structure into a corrugated metal sheet clad café with a distinctly modern aesthetic. Class Café matches steel and wood to give the café a relaxed yet productive vibe. Lead architect, Sake Simaraks worked with Jatuphon Wangsong on the project. Site area: 1,500m2 Total Floor area: 350m2 Materials: Corrugated metal sheet (interior and exterior) THE PLUS: What’s the one most important design feature of a café? Sake Simaraks: No specific design feature: it’s about overall design. TP: What do you think a good café should have? SS: A good café should provide more than just good coffee. TP: Which three words best describe your design philosophy? SS: Construction of statement. TP: Which three words best describe the experience of being inside Café Buriram? SS: Inspiration, memory, ordinary. TP: Table or sofa? SS: Sofa. Photos: Chalermwat Wongchompoo 3. Los Angeles firm WORD have taken an approach to café design which maximises the exposure to the LA sun. In their design Little Ground Café, raw concrete and patterns of wood combine and provide a seamless continuity of materials in a charming exterior seating area. Size: 51m2 interior and 46m2 exterior seating area Materials: Cast in place concrete, steel and rough-sawn cedar THE PLUS: What’s the one most important design feature of a café? Christopher Warren: The menu (what’s in it, not what it looks like). TP: What do you think a good café should have? CW: First, an amazing barista. For the experience, good seating – and the concrete seats here are surprisingly comfortable! TP: Which three words best describe your design philosophy? CW: Thoughtful, progressive, unique. TP: Which three words best describe the experience of being inside Little Ground Café? CW: Comfort, community, respite. TP: Favourite coffee? CW: A strong americano – there’s a joke in there somewhere. TP: Do you prefer a café with a calm vibe or busy vibe? CW: I like a calm vibe with an underlying sense that important decisions are being made. TP: Minimalism or homeliness? CW: Never ever homeliness. For me that’s decoration, not design.