Nested among Shanghai‘s historic-turned-trendy neighborhood of Fengshengli is the Birdie Cup Coffee Café designed by F.O.G. Architecture.
Located in Fengshengli, West Nanjing Road, Shanghai, China this 25-square-meter coffee shop finds itself among tightly packed Shikumen buildings and commercial spaces. Situated right next to the metro station, it is in proximity to incessant traffic and pedestrian flow.
Using the method of “de-architecture,” we applied large areas of glass and matte-finish metal to create an outstretched and transparent space of white and grey. Meanwhile, the curved roof and the warm lighting moderates the cold, stringent imagery, coupling rigidity with softness.
Roof has always been a keyspace element in architect's designs. In this particular case, rather than the roof being a mere signage board, F.O.G. want the roof to establish a sort of structural aesthetics as the overall vision of the brand, which formalises the shop into some “white floating puffs” alleviating the metal space as a soft shelter for a short stay.
Clouds, pillows, balloons, or spaceships – architects avoid associating the roof with anyone's imagery, thereby encouraging people to imagine their own spontaneous connections to the space. Like how coffee gets rid of fatigue, F.O.G. want these floaters to help people zone out a bit. Among other possibilities, the cloud imagery forms a discourse with “birdie” in the brand name and insinuates the Internet age, in which everything is relocated to the cloud and life becomes intertwined with digits.