The latest branch of the SeeSaw chain of artisan coffee shops is located in the Réel Mall in Jing’an District, Shanghai. The coffee shop’s focal point is the recycled wood counter where the skills and flourishes of the baristas are on full display, making coffee by a number of methods with a complex array of shiny machinery. The counter is highlighted by a black painted metal rack hanging above it with glass shelving, its square profile juxtaposing the counter’s curves.
Suspended in the rack’s center is the SeeSaw logo in glowing white neon, while the chalk drawings on blackboards and the walls contribute to a casually cool atmosphere. The rack connects to the back wall and is compressed into a single square metal tube that is diverted into a wall pattern distinctive of the SeeSaw brand. The square pattern snakes playfully around the walls, and the concrete adds an earthy quality to the space contrasting with the bright and slightly sterile feeling of the mall. The vibrant blue and gray tiles surrounding the bar transition choppily into the muted tone of reclaimed wooden floorboards, articulating the seating area, a jumble of bright wooden furniture spilling out into the mall.
Nanjing Western Road, Shanghai
Concept design to Construction