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Pastel pink coffee shop is designed to be picture perfect

Glorifying the ritual of coffee

Blush pink coffee bar with arched walls and two counters. Yujie Liu

We live in a time of self-aware architecture—restaurants custom-designed for your Instagram feed, and now, coffee shops conceived as “live advertisements.”

From Chinese architecture firm Office AIO comes Basic Coffee, a deliberately picture-perfect cafe in Beijing. The new shop adjoins a co-working space, and it’s a chock full of on-trend features.

There’s the monochromatic palette of pastel pink and the curved timber coffee bar. Globe lights dangle from the ceiling and dot the walls, creating a soft, warm glow.

Window looking onto coffee shop. Yujie Liu

The shop is arranged into “moments” that highlight the ritual of drinking coffee. “Like a live advertisement, these framed views expose different motions performed by all parties in the cafe,” the architects say. A backlit wall, for example, showcases baristas while they prepare the coffee.

The seating area is separated from the waiting area by a sleek perforated screen that hangs from the ceiling. All of these elements are meant to be enjoyed as discrete events in the coffee procurement process—a beautiful, if ambitious goal, for people who might still be half asleep when they wander in.

People sitting at timber coffee bar. Yujie Liu
Pink coffee shop with stools and curved coffee bar. Yujie Liu
Entrance to pink coffee shop. Yujie Liu