Located in the city of Xi’an in central China, known as a culinary destination and for its historical architecture sits an unexpected coffee shop. Clad in wood with a penchant for symmetry and amplitude, this project is made to bring attention to itself, as it opposes traditional Chinese aesthetics of the past and embraces current trends such as minimalism and geometric textures.
Mojo Cafe features a slew of wood-clad walls, making for a dynamic perspective no matter the direction one looks. The illusion of slight texture from afar to the thin patterns up close makes for a rich sculptural ambient. The island in the middle, as the ordering and serving ground is easily recognisable as the main point for customer engagement. Case in point, the architects skilfully condensed the experience of acquiring coffee in the main hall as the introduction to what continues on the second floor.
Burnt cement acts as a breather in parallel to the dominance of wood and its orange glow, a scaling back to a simple colour through the most dynamic element, the stairs and the colourful wall featuring the sole expressive element in the shop. On the mezzanine the visitors encounter the seating area, predominantly favouring a balcony experience. The simplicity is telling, as the details such as the lighting elements and the coffee beans jars are quaint and sparse.
Mojo Cafe tells its story in a glance. It is minimalism through simplicity of concept but not execution; as the coffee shop rewards curious dwellers for its details but also offers solace in contemporary setting. An atypical but exceptional project indeed.