Bookstore coffee nooks rarely look like this. But at Beijing’s Chaoyang Joycity mall, the top-level book shop features a SeeSaw Coffee designed by Nota Architects that evokes a living landscape. Its wood walkways, moss-shrouded stepping stones and misted boulders play up a nature-inspired theme rounded out by a veritable greenhouse’s worth of plants.
On one side, a path made of wood planks interspersed with moss and rocky boulders leads to the service area on a circular platform. A house-shaped floating hut anchors the zone, which also features an espresso bar and a filter coffee bar. On the side opposite the wood-plank path is the so-called “ship-deck garden,” where patrons can enjoy their hot drinks. It’s filled with plants, while sprays of blossoms hang down from the slatted ceiling.
The wood blocks and planters in the dining area are staggered at high and low levels and feature integrated lighting, giving the otherwise flat space a varied topography. They also provide a perch for the coffee house’s neon sign to rest unobtrusively.
This is the third – and most daring – Seesaw Coffee location by Nota Architects, which is also working on the chain’s headquarters. Azure featured it in our October issue as an example of how the trend of “extreme nature” is making its way into interiors, product design and architecture. Nota is expert at creating spaces that stretch the line between nature and artifice; just check out its HeyTea bakery in Hangzhou.
Designed by Nota Architects, the experiential coffee shop brings wood, plants, moss and misted boulders to a Beijing mall.