The Specialty Coffee brand NO NAY was invited to set up its first coffee shop in the southwestern area of China inside HARMAY’s Chongqing Jiefangbei store. LEL DESIGN studio and FLIP studio jointly carried out the interior design. On the basis of continuing NO NAY's unique laboratory atmosphere, by introducing "mobile installation", the design aims to extend the storefront and stimulates different customer behavior scenario. It is indeed a spatial behavior experiment that tries to blur commercial and public spaces and to open up multiple possibilities in the future.

The store is located in the inner commercial street of Cathay Plaza in Chongqing Jiefangbei. Although there are many people coming and going to Jiefangbei, due to the dim lighting environment and lack of pedestrian-friendly resting space, even though the store is located in a relatively crucial spot, it will be difficult to make the crowd actively stay unless we could make an unconventional move on the storefront design. At the same time, the "store within a store" located in Harmay has a narrow and long space, which poses a challenge to how to effectively improve the efficiency and comfort of the seating area in the coffee shop.

However, these limitations and challenges have also become the inspiration of the design: the design shapes the interface facing the commercial inner street as a whole into a set of mobile spatial installations. Not only borrowing part of the space from the inner street to form a flexible swing area, but also stimulating different customer behaviors. When the metal long table and L-shaped light box rotate and extend into the inner street, the two spaces are immediately connected. It naturally achieves a dynamic and static division between the storefront and the mobile bench seating area against the wall.

The use of different materials is also our focus of exploration. We have done a series of tests and research on the surface treatment of stainless steel, the light transmittance of acrylic, and especially the texture and hardness of felt to optimize the acoustic environment and comfort level. These are all to create spaces that could truly make people want to stay, enjoy coffee and socialize.

In addition to the rotatable light box and the long table in the space, all indoor furniture including benches and trolleys are free to move, adapting to the social needs of contemporary young people. The installation is a trigger, the purpose is to stimulate various behaviors and the use of the inner street. The social activation brought by the long table as an open discussion area is part of the spatial behavior experiment. The mobile furniture also gives users possibilities to change the interior layouts according to their social behavior.

We also established a connection with Harmay through a well-designed opening. The opening is set at the bar where customers order while perceiving Harmay as a distinctive "pink cave". On the Harmay side, the entrance of the cave appears on the cave wall in a humble way, reserving the possibility of future operation.

In the end, a series of powerful spatial installations, such as rotatable light box, long table, metal bar counters, and display cabinet, are dramatically composed in the space in an unstable way, integrating social interaction, exhibition, and coffee experience.

Location: Guotai Plaza, Jiefangbei, Chongqing

Floor Area: 50 m2


Appointment year: 2022

Completion year: 2022


LEL DESIGN STUDIO: Yu Kuai, Wang Yiding, Luo Sai, Yu Haoliang, Yang Ruihao, Zhang Fan, Li Lu


Photography: Inspace Studio