11 May 2021 • Hospitality
Blue Bottle Coffee plants an urban retreat in Shibuya to calm the chaos
California-headquartered Blue Bottle Coffee has been expanding its reach in Asia with cafés in everywhere from Seoul to Hong Kong to Kyoto. A recent addition to the portfolio in Tokyo’s Shibuya area is located in the newly revamped Kitaya Park. Just as the park provides a moment of respite in a busy hotspot, Keiji Ashizawa Design envisioned this Blue Bottle Coffee as an urban retreat. The park-inspired scene is obvious from the outset, with coffee drinkers propped outside on bench seats. Connecting the exterior and interior are over 7,000 ExCinere tiles with a special volcanic ash glaze, the result of a collaboration between London-based materials manufacturer Dzek and Amsterdam-based design studio Formafantasma. (There’s even an ExCinere-inspired crème brûlée cheesecake on the café’s menu.) Continuing a strategy employed by co-working and office spaces, the café also features a variety of seating options to satisfy different scenarios.
Our current issue (Frame 140) looks at how hotels are becoming inner-city escapes – a trend that’s also seeped into the wider hospitality industry. Make that the interiors industry at large if retail locations like Browns Brook Street, with its secret central London garden, are anything to go by. The pandemic made the parks in crowded metropolises all the more valuable, something savvy businesses have no doubt noted. If that means more green space for cities – even if it’s commercial green space – then grow forth and prosper.