Cantina Beirut is a coffee shop and multipurpose events space envisioned to be inclusive, flexible and comfortable.
Conceived as an urban platform, the coral terrazzo entrance stairs emerge from the sidewalk and wrap around the outdoors terrace to form a public bench inviting passersby to appropriate it. The stairs, bench and terrace anchor the coffee shop as an inviting urban platform open for events, gatherings, or having conversations around a cup of coffee.
The indoor space is a natural extension of the terrace with its flamboyant coral flooring. Two main cork elements emerge from the peripheral walls to make space for an open/flexible middle area. They read as if the walls have thickened to allow for main functions to exist. They also divide the space into two defined areas: the coffee bar and the backdrop unit.
The Bar area is the main anchor of the space. It defines a straightforward circulation pattern in the coffee shop depending on whether one is there to stay or to just grab and go. Clients become part of the process and the interface facilitates the start of a quick chat while waiting for their coffee.
The backdrop unit consists of a big display cork wall on which events are announced, specialties are introduced and art pieces are put on show. The ceiling is lower and the wall thickens into a low bench to create a warm niche for a more focused seating space.
The cork used for the two units invites users to display their ideas and questions defining the space as a platform for exchange. With its warm yet at the same time urban feel, Cantina creates an inclusive environment where conversations can flow and users can wind down in a warm spot in the city.