Not Your Grandmother’s Coffeehouse
New York – Hariri & Hariri redefine the coffeehouse for the 21st Century with the new Juan Valdez Café opening to the public September 29th, 2004 in Manhattan at 140 East 57th Street. Designed for the National Federation of Colombian Coffee Growers, Gisue Hariri and Mojgan Hariri have taken the concept of the 19th Century Viennese coffeehouse and exploded this sedate paradigm into an undulating multi-sensory experience combining fluid forms, cutting edge materials and the incomparable aroma of Colombian coffee.
Hariri & Hariri’s innovative design treats the entire four story façade of the building as the literal “LINK” between the two cultures. The image of Juan Valdez is etched into a stainless steel chain-link screen, and his presence is fundamental in setting up this transcultural experience. Inspired by the shape of coffee bean, the Storefront is sculpted into a “FOLDED PLANE”, and is made of coffee color teak. The native stone slabs on the floor and counters, and woven teak panels represent the warmth and earth of Colombia. The most significant architectural element is a soft, free flowing “LIQUID WALL” that continues through the entire length of the space and wraps around the lounge area at the back. An exuberant seating arrangement is carved into this wall, where one can have wireless connection to the rest of the world, or simply enjoy the taste of 100% pure Colombian coffee. The Liquid wall represents the ephemeral flow and aroma of coffee, creating a long lasting impression on the visitors.