This coffee shop project by Tomas Mielnikowicz Architects draws influence from the public squares of the surrounding Buenos Aires neighbourhood, where elements of national and eastern culture merge with the aroma of coffee. The resulting space features geometries in harmony with neutral tones, stone materials, specific vegetation and a central sculptural piece in the form of the main lighting component.
Harmonious and simple, the space was developed so that different uses and functions can be carried out. To achieve the sense of public space that Buenos Aires is known for, the architects included one of the most seen tiles in the squares and sidewalks of the city: this being the 64-sided tile.
The 40 cm x 40 cm module size of the 64-piece tile also helps to structure and define space. The pattern is present in all areas of the café, resulting in a visual harmony through visible pattern and generating a relationship between all elements.
Emphasizing the nature of the Buenos Aires square, no mobile furniture pieces were added. Instead, benches were designed as they are presented in the public spaces of the city.
Further referential elements include the golden lanterns often used in the area with their golden colour and spherical shape integrated into the project. The golden colour of the city’s streetlights, also seen in Asian-influenced colour palettes, was the colour of choice for details ranging from baseboards to blacksmithing, light fixtures, and more.
The spatial layout is governed by a constant link between the monolithic bar and successive floor sectors that accompany it. Each floor sector is equivalent to the width of four modules (160cm), which could be imagined as elongated planes that fold at right angles, thus forming the different types of benches and flowerbed in the allegorical square. A total of eight successive strips of floor can be distinguished, perpendicular to the main axis of the bar.
Each strip is separated from the next by a strip of round white stones. The white stone strip, in addition to reinforcing the modular nature of the panels, also serves as a linear gutter. Each strip connected to the others and designed to guarantee good drainage and cleanliness of the premises. The aesthetic of the white round stones also makes an intuitive connection to Asian culture.
The central sculptural artefact comes from artist Paul Sende of Artistica Luminico. Made of quarter-circle shaped modules, the diameter of each of these circular pieces that make up the central lighting feature coincide with the modulation of the floor panels, generating a geometric link.
All lighting elements are programmed and connected, achieving a static light position with adjustable power, plus a total of six different lighting sequences. At times, the effect is similar to that of clouds under the sun, adding to the overall experience of the space.