Last Exit, Khawaneej, Dubai
For the homegrown Emirati brand Drop Coffee’s second location in Last Exit Khawaneej, Roar studio fused a pared down design with striking raw accents. The designers were asked to create a minimal space that would accommodate the flow of customers coming from two different entrances. Hence the grab-and-go bar was located centrally to be able to address both access points. Simple framing forms the structure around the bar, which anchors it within the space. Adjacent to the central bar, two symmetrical retail shelves flank both sides of the mall entrance, echoing the same framing language, and are complemented with down-lit features. The bar appears as if floating as a result of a lighted skirting made out of glass blocks and supported by a wooden structure, which runs across the base. As well as being a very durable surface, the reflective, stainless steel countertop adds to this levity while mirroring the decks left exposed on the ceiling.
A variety of seating options, from bar stools to freestanding tables and chairs, are scattered and can also be pulled together for larger groups. A sofa and purpose built banquette add colour and gently disrupts the overall minimalist aesthetic. The colour palette was guided by the roasting process of the coffee beans. For example, the terrazzo effect tiles include mixed tones of rust brown and dark terracotta, while the dominant hues of the scheme, consisting of a very light oak wood coupled with a concrete paint finish, serve as a calming backdrop. The client wanted each of Drop Coffee branch to be associated with a different, standout colour. For this location, the colour of choice was burnt orange seen on the La Cividina sofa as well as on the clamp-style coffee tables created for customers to have a quick shot of espresso whilst standing. Right next to this area, a glass block wall encloses a small kitchen, allowing natural light to flood in from the nearby outdoor access while also shaping interesting silhouettes when the staff uses the space. Another key feature is placed behind the banquette area where an assortment of white broken tiles have been carefully arranged to form a playful wall ornament.