Conveniently located on the street level of the Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC), Orijins, a sleek new coffee shop designed by Dubai-based interior design firm VSHD, draws its inspiration from the beautiful imperfections found in nature. Simplistic in form, and rich in texture and materials, the design of the café showcases the beauty that can be found in a sparsely decorated space of muted plaster and opaque creamy hues, which borrow their subdued colors from natural elements such as sand, shells, stone, and wood. In the absence of a rich use of décor, visitors are instead prompted by the forms that bring the space to life, such as the curved volumes in the ceiling, which provide a feeling of calm and grounding.
The space exudes a rich amalgamation of contrasts: the large blocks of uneven stones, the slender lightweight metal furnishings, the subtle curvaceous elements, and the muted colors. Of note is the coffee bar made of solid blocks of different kinds of marble. Its beautifully curved shape - an unusual structure for your typical coffee bar - adds itself a dreamy and raw form to the light and airy space.
VSHD put great focus into incorporating a mix of textures and materials, all with minimal color contrast and definition. Of note are the textiles - fur, boucle, and heavy weaves - used to complement the raw natural concept and sculptural quality of the design and resulting space.
The main inspiration for the café was derived from the natural world, and from a collection of stones picked up from the shores of the red sea. Nature takes the lead here, but it does so innovatively. Just as the natural light gently beams through the space, leaving an array of shadows on the plastered earthy walls, the close observer will also notice the almost enigmatic influence of technology. A very slim LED strip, located along the length of the space, showcases a gentle arch in the ceiling. It is a small spotlight that illuminates the bar area and a bespoke wall light designed by VSHD, and is made in brushed aluminum that ever so subtly decorates the sparse space.
In many ways, Orijins offers the sanctitude of an ancient chapel. The minimalistic interiors relay a rare beauty found through the magic of opaque hues and rich natural materials. Such a sparsely decorated space is also representative of the vision of VSHD, and belief in the beauty of imperfection, and the humility and integrity that comes from living in tune with imperfect nature. Orijins represents the design firm’s interpretation of what it means to be calm, to sit still, and to observe the beauty that can be found even in our flawed, everyday reality.
The silver lining of the pandemic is that it once again brought us closer to nature and allowed us to fully appreciate it. Nature is divine: VSHD designs are all about going back to the origins of things, and creating an environment that is as close to nature as possible. It’s the feeling of calm and serenity one gets when sitting on a rock by the sea or sand in the desert.
Relentless sketching of abstract shapes and volumes fosters a feel of rocks shaped by the force of nature. Taking a very innovative approach to the layout of the coffee bar, the 7 marble blocks were sketched by hand, converted to 3-D models, and were fed into a CNC machine to produce the abstract forms, creating a sanctuary mood with muted textures, organic shapes, and earthy hues.
The shell of the space was the canvas for those abstract volumes, with its curved walls with grains and textures, bringing the whole feel back to nature. This overall mood is simply calm, and it is what keeps the coffee flowing and the lines of coffee lovers outside of the coffee bar queuing to be seated.
- Location: Dubai, United Arab Emirates
- Area: 105 m2
- Lead Designer: Rania M Hamed
- Senior Designer: Arianna Cardin
- Project Manager: Bryan Miranda
- Photographer: Oculis Project