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Design Details: Steel and Stone for Cuts and Cups at Duet in Hong Kong

01_Shopfront

Duet Cups & Cuts in Hong Kong. Photo by @f.o.v_ courtesy of Absence from Island.

Combining for a precision-focused pairing in Hong Kong’s Whampoa district is Duet, which is one part single-origin specialty espresso shop and one part hair salon.

The concept of duality is expressed throughout the facade, interior design and merchandise as cool stainless steel and hard-formed ridges recall the blades of scissors while soft, smooth aggregate cement and rock forms appeal to coffee’s natural, mineral side.

08_White terrazzo for coffee bar

White terrazzo for the coffee bar. Courtesy photo by Absence from Island.

The coffee side of the business is being managed by professional barista and recently crowned Hong Kong Cup Tasters Champion Jaco Chu. The design team told DCN that Chu’s own dedication to exacting coffee craftsmanship is reflected in the finished interior, where steel and rock are constantly at play.

05_Salon overview

The Duet salon. Courtesy photo by Absence from Island.

“In order to prevent a blandness of the stainless steel used, stainless steel panels of various colors and finishes have been chosen to give subtle changes on the facade and as they extend into the interior,” Absence from Island’s Tang Chi Chun told DCN. “For the washed aggregate concrete, it was widely used in Whampoa when it was originally built in the 80s, [as] a large well-known middle-class estate in Hong Kong where the boutique is located.”

03_Coffee Bar

The Duet coffee bar. Courtesy photo by Absence from Island.

Both steel and stone are tied together by a stretch of ridges above the shop’s entryway on the street level.

“The ridges indeed took reference from the characteristic hexagonal columnar rock formations of Hong Kong and were transformed into a symbol of local culture,” Chi said. “Black stainless steel forms one side of the ridges and gives a cool and mechanical look; while washed concrete with exposed aggregate forms the other side and helps balance the coolness by giving a relatively warm and earthy tone.”

09_Duet logo

The Duet logo. Photo by @duetcups courtesy of Absence from Island


DCN’s ongoing Design Details series highlights specific details in coffee shop/roastery interior design or coffee-related packaging and branding. Learn more or share your Design Details for consideration here.

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