Blue Bottle Coffee Qiantan Café
Architect: Keiji Ashizawa Design
Project architect: Keiji Ashizawa / Chaoyen Wu
Lighting Design: AURORA / Yoshiki Ichikawa
Landscape Design: Hashiuchi Garden Design / Hashiuchi Tomoya
Photo: Jonathan Leijonhufvud
The new Blue Bottle Coffee Qiantan Cafe is located in a recently developed area of Shanghai, lined with office buildings, hotels, and shopping malls. A lush green park situated in the center of the area is the stage for this new Blue Bottle Coffee. The existing building had a glass-walled facility and a flat oval shaped exterior, so we had to first consider what kind of concept would be appropriate for Blue Bottle Coffee to settle in the park.
The first floor, which is on the ground level, was made into a large space by removing all the original slabs of the second floor. Benches and stools were installed as an extension of the park, and a large tree was placed inside the glass-cased interior, creating an environment with a botanical garden in the park. At first glance, it looks like a botanical garden, but at the same time it is a conservatory that can be used in all weather.
To maintain the atmosphere of the park, the main coffee counter has been integrated in the basement. Since the existing building had no access to the basement, it was necessary to build a new staircase to the basement. We decided to create a cave-like space for visitors to appreciate the long stairway down to the basement, creating an experience that is like crawling through the earth in the park.
Along with the color of the soil, it was made in a reddish-brown volume inspired by the streets of Shanghai. The ceiling ducts necessary from the basement, visible on the exterior as a volume protruding from the rooftop, are also made in the same color. The basement space has a large counter and designated seating, semi-private seating, outdoor and indoor benches and various other seating spaces, giving many options for guests to choose their seats. Despite being underground, the space faces a large dry area - giving a sense of openness. The volume of the staircase and the fact that it is located underground in a park create a soft impression of the interior, as well as a contrast with the existing bold space.
Although this is the fifth Blue Bottle Coffee store in Shanghai, it is the first cafe in a park. The concept of Blue Bottle Coffee is to care for the community, which is an important theme for this cafe as well - and that is why the ground floor is open to the public. Not only do we hope that the residents in Shanghai will enjoy the coffee, but also contribute to their wellbeing through the use of this place.