The Kith Café by Hjgher, Singapore

July 11th, 2011 by retail design blog

This Cafe called The Kith is designed by the collective design Hjgher which is Singapore based, precisely it is sits by the Singapore River, ideal for joggers, bicycles or dog watching and open for anyone seeking good food and great company to come together and enjoy.

The concept which the cafe takes is inspired by the simple phrase from the Japanese film, Be With You. It is translates into “Would you care to have a coffee break with me sometimes?” a plain and sincere question which has the power to turn the strangers into kith and kin. It is not just a matter of the coming up with a Kith Cafe, it also create a complete experience. It is meant no fancy lampshades, mass-manufactured furniture or unnecessarily printed materials are to be used in its interior design. Instead, the focus is on the delivering and unassuming space which is can support the Kith’s honest philosophy and ethos.

The customers can choose to sit on a long, tall communal bar table on the left seating or a low bench area on the right, upon entering the quaint 28 square meters space. It is allowed the spatial contrast due to the split eye-levels which is increased the perceived space of the seating area. The custom-made furniture for the seating area is designed by the architect to be flexible. It is to breakdown the personal space barriers and to encourage the customers to interact. Most of the modular blocks can double as either a table or a bench; it is to maximize the floor space. It is even be used if necessary to seat the two people instead of one. In this way, the small space can accommodate a group of up to twenty. By placing the emphasis on an authenticity in the production of the custom made furniture, the focus is on the adept hand workmanship to produce a pure and simply elegant form which is inspired by the growth of the nature. To calculated the dimensions of the varying lengths and the thickness, over 10,000 blocks of plywood are trimmed, then hand layered block by block and affixed with an absolute precision. An organic construct similar to the random and organic growth process of a tree thereby creating an authentic finish to every piece is given by the altering dimensions of each block.

The requirements of the owners were understood thoroughly before designing a work area that maximized the limited space in the consideration to the work area which is consisting of the kitchen and the work area. Practical placements of the coffee machine and grinder, ice-cream fridge, sandwich preparation area, juicer, cold storage and disposal have to be taken into account to guarantee the smooth and comfortable area for working and for a harmonious flow of body movements especially during peak periods. On relaying the sincerity and the openness of the cafe the emphasis is also placed. The open wrought iron shelves is openly display the storage of the fresh produce and the most of the outlet’s inventory, putting further emphasis on the open and honest concept of Kith Café. The space is adorned by a hand written menu on the chalkboard wall along with 10 evenly spaced single wire naked light bulbs as any fancy lighting will render the already small space, smaller than before. All of it is in line with the informal atmosphere.

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