D’espresso Cafe, Manhattan

May 3rd, 2011 by retail design blog

Nema Workshop have completed the interior design for a small cafe in New York City, where they took the concept of a library and turned it sideways. Located on Madison Avenue, the espresso bar conceptually and literally turns a normal room sideways, creating a striking identity for the emerging brand. The client approached nemaworkshop with an ambition to build a unique espresso brand and to develop a creative environment that connects to its location on Madison Avenue near Grand Central Station.

Inspired by the nearby Bryant Park Library, nemaworkshop designed a store that is straightforward in a simple twisted way – Take a library and turn it SIDEWAYS. The booklined shelves become the floor and ceilings and wood floor ends up on the walls meanwhile the pendants protrude sideways from the wall. To achieve the books shelves on the floor, the space is lined with sepia-toned full size photograph of books printed on custom tiles.

The custom tiles run along the floor, up the 15’ foot wall and across the ceiling. The frosted glass wall behind the service counter illuminates the space and the wall directly opposite is clad in dark brown herringbone. The thrust of this concept finds expression in the lighting and materiality, and ultimately the space gives definition to the emerging brand. The concept itself is bold and receptive to future locations.

Photography by David Joseph


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3 thoughts on “D’espresso Cafe, Manhattan

  1. This is a brilliant design! A very unique design, I really like it!

    What was the reasoning behind making it sideways, rather than completely inverted, ie library roof on the floor, floor on the ceiling etc?

  2. Very interesting! I wonder what it really feels like to experience this cafe? Is it cozy like a library or is it vertigo inducing?

  3. James Scott says:

    That book shelf wall paper is pretty confusing, creating an interesting optical ilusion.

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