The first of the chain to come to the UK, Coffee Planet approached us to design their first café in Cardiff.
The heart of Coffee Planet’s brand is the coffee beans and its importance on where it is roasted. The overall design is rich with features that are reflective of its history and brand ethos. Through the use of key materials such as brass, feature bespoke tiles of a historic Arabic print and key details such as lighting with vintage bulbs that reflect the warmth of the brand. The interior design and brand are also reflective of this – welcoming and relaxed with a touch of raw – a space to offer a place for customers to enjoy food, coffee and to hang out, work and socialise.
The new space is reflective of the brand – rich and raw – these accentuate the look and reflect its rich history but also keeping a contemporary look. They not only connect the design with their chain in UAE but also emulates the brand of coffee through its interior.
Coffee Planet desired to create a new chain in the UK, bringing Arabica coffee which is very different and somewhat unique to the UK market, with the first of its ventures opening up in Cardiff. With the goal to help people experience the finest global Arabica coffee, we set out to look at how they make their coffee was made, and how we could develop this into a brand that emulates the existing brand. The overall purpose was to attract coffee drinkers but also people who want to use the space to work. The premises in which Coffee Planet chose to locate the Café was a heavily used street for office workers to get access to and from the city – conveniently located at the foot of one of the largest office buildings in Cardiff. Their aim was to attract this type of market through providing a coffee shop which was different from many of the other coffee shops located on the same road.
With the brief to bring the United States of Emirates to the UK and armed with only a few existing designs, we were able to create an identity to a space that had yet been built. Working alongside a local architectural firm on the exterior of the property we were tasked with designing the exterior in terms of its finish and Coffee Planet signage, including a bespoke manifestation that was reflective of a historic Arabic print. New Coffee Planet signage which is lit up by night was designed and passed through planning.
The interior scheme initially began with locating the barista bar and identifying a process and flow to the space, this was key to identifying the remaining zones. Elements of the vibrant and rich Arabic culture drove the overall design of the space. Joinery pieces made from brass including well-known landmarks from UAE are amongst the key design features. Contrasting these industrial components, a combination of natural materials are also highlighted within the space, ultimately creating a warm and welcoming environment for both customers and staff.
The space located on a plot of land that is conveniently located on a very busy main road in the city centre. The space is approximately 50m² that needed to house a barista bar, a back office with storage, a takeaway station, till area, WC, and seating area with an outdoor area. The requirements tested the size of the space and what could be done with it. With areas to allow people to sit and work, eat and have a drink, it allowed for flexibility of the customer to choose how to use the space. Areas for relaxing was one of the key aims of the lounge area with making sure we were able to maximise seating covers and allow the space to be functional day or night. Critical path was another key aim, allowing the customer to walk in naturally either chose a table or go directly to the bar to order or get a takeaway and leave. The flow needed to allow enough freedom to ensure that people who sat in the lounge area are not crowded by people in the queue.
The main bar with its faux brick back wall is cladded in MDF veneer to reflect sawn wood blocks staggered to the front of the bar. This gives depth and texture to the design and balances the black that is used heavily throughout the design.
Retail sections that reflect the same style of the barista bar and screen dividers through the space make sure the different zones connect with each other without making the spaces feel like barriers in the 70m² space.
Key features surround the space through different elements of joinery and finishes. A staggered wood effect wall design with faux planting hung from it emulates the barista bar which is the main feature to the space. In front of this bar bespoke feature Arabic printed tiles are used to draw you into the bar and lead you to other joinery pieces made including the well-known landmarks from UAE where these tiles are used are amongst these features.