- Designer: Absence From Island and Studio Etain Ho
- Client: Today is Long
- Location: Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong
- Photography by: Helen Hoi Lam Kwok, Didier Perrot-Minot
A group of young Hong Kong coffee professionals who studied and worked in Australia have brought a touch of Australian daylight to Hong Kong’s Sai Ying Pun district with the opening of Today is Long.
The design of the coffee shop was led by the Hong Kong firms Absence From Island and Studio Etain Ho incorporates a series of hemispheres that evoke a sense of daytime and provide archways and physical separations, while also recalling the sandstone monolith Uluru in North Central Australia.
The setting sun hemisphere is used heavily throughout the design, reflecting off whites and creams that help the cafe stand out on the busy streetscape while nodding to Australia’s abundance of sunshine.
“One of the hemispheres became the welcome arch at the entrance which formed a short tunnel to transport customers from the hustle and bustle in Sai Ying Pun to the quiet and comfortable interior,” a representative of Absence From Island told DCN via email. “Another formed a recessed wall pattern for the takeaway counter. The third hemisphere was rotated sideway and formed the largest window to bring in as much natural light as possible. Apart from the facade, there was one full final circle in the interior which formed as the backdrop for the seating area.”
Given the proximity to the University of Hong Kong, the neighborhood is known for a mix of locals and foreigners, and the firms attempted to promote the concept of a social hub through the seating arrangement.
“Bench seating has been fitted in one triangular corner of the shop with the two rows facing each other. With the benches and the coffee counter arranged along the periphery of the cafe and with a focal point in the centre, the arrangement shall enhance interaction and create a sense of community,” the firm stated. “A thin bar table has also been designed on the facade for customers, especially dog-owners, to enjoy their coffee outdoors and to look into the cafe at the same time.”
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