Designed by London-based studio Gundry & Ducker, the interior of the Biju Bubble Tea Rooms in Soho is an ingenious example of using cork in commercial design. Cork comes with definite advantages as an environmentally-friendly, fire-resistant material with soundproofing and thermo-insulating properties. But it also brings something more into the equation – its simple charm and visual appeal. Cork gives the interior an informal vibe and softens the look of a room with its smooth, elastic surface.
In this case, the cork became a solution when the designers tried to reimagine the typical tea or coffee shop, with its isolated tables and tired look. Instead, they put together a space where social interaction around a fresh cup of tea is encouraged and where customers can choose how they want to sit and relax.
Along both sides of the room, cork steps offer tea lovers a first seating option. Circular cushions in lively colors provide a touch of chromatic contrast against their neutral tones and offer the eye some softer lines to rest on. A few cork-lined blocks sit on top of these layered benches and can be used as impromptu tables.
Small stools with metal legs and cork seats, clustered around tables that replicate their shape at a larger scale are another seating option. The cork continues on the wall, where the backrest turns into a decorative wall treatment beyond the seating area. A few cork touches in the design of the serving area unifies the look. If extensively using cork in commercial design and building a space around it may look like a challenge, here the designers prove differently.
The walls are treated in an interesting and creative way. While the look is meant to remain simple, the designers chose to mix a few options. Next to the cork boards, white paint allows part of the brick wall to show. Diagonal stripes in bright colors define the space and continue on the façade. This playful yet subtle inclusion of color in a mostly neutral space makes the latter shine by contrast.
A beautiful instance of using cork in commercial design, the Biju Bubble Tea Rooms interior captures the spirit of the place. Mixing natural ingredients to create a fun drink, this London tea shop offer to the eye a space that reflect both its “natural” and “fun” aspects.
Please take a look at our Before and After images of selected projects from 2018 HERE.
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Also, take a look at “Branding By Interior” e-book, the only book written on this subject at this time. It brings insight on how you can turn your business into a market-dominating competitor by using human cognitive responses.