Coffee Shop/Delicatessen

Grapes & Dates Cafe, Dubai

Last Exit, Al Khawaneej, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

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About the project

The brief given to designers The Niu Studio, was to develop a unique concept for the interior design and brand identity of ‘Grapes and Dates’, a new Emirati chain of healthy snack bars.

As this was a quality, health food concept, bright, mouthwatering and enticing colours of purple, orange and green, (the brand’s colours) were to be prominent in the interior design scheme. Niu created a fresh environment bathed in light. A minimalist design maximised the visual impact of the small, 30 square metre space, and a minimalist approach focused on only two primary materials – Terrazzo and a Barrisol stretch PVC ceiling. The concept can be repeated for the upcoming branches. However, the design was conceived so that the concept will remain constant, but the shapes can vary. The selection of a stretch ceiling will allow for different ceiling shapes to be lit and decorated in the same manner. The three brand colours can also be interchanged depending on the location. Different artists will be commissioned for each of the additional branches.

Partly Inspired by the small ice cream shops of southern Italy, the bold abstract use of Arabic calligraphy on the ceiling and upper walls adds a strong Arabian flavor. The space was a classic gallery with two entrances and vaulted ceiling joined by two entrance doors, one to the inner food court and the other street-facing. The interior design is a blend between the traditional (vaulted shape and traditional Terrazzo material) with a retro feel, highlighted by the curved corners of the orange kitchen doors and the form of the food hatch between the kitchen and counter area. The ceiling and the sculptural counter provide the modern high-tech twist to the design. The result is a futuristic environment, almost like being on board a spaceship, with no loose furniture, and the enveloping shape creates a unique and unusual experience – a precisely curated blend between something traditional and something futuristic.

The LED ceiling lighting features provide a seamless atmospheric light solution that ensures a continuous uniform flow of light. The barrel-like vaulted ceiling is a classic vaulted space, which has been illuminated without the use of a single spotlight, which is unusual for a commercial space. As a result, the ceiling is especially effective at night not just as a source of lighting, but as it looks very dramatic and attracts customers like a beacon, thereby complementing to the after-dark curb appeal of the stylish eatery.

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Project info

Client:

Size:

322 sq-ft.

Country:

United Arab Emirates

City:

Dubai

Completed On:

2020
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