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  • Writer's pictureWAD

Neo Books and Coffee

Updated: Jan 23, 2020

Upscale, modern and comfortable.

These are the words to describe the Client's vision for her coffee serving bookstore.

An avid reader herself and a published author, the Client's hope is to create an atmosphere that encourages customers from all backgrounds to browse, buy and chill in a space that is contemporary, inviting and cosy.

General Arrangement Layouts

The ground floor includes the main bookstore area, the cashier and gift wrap counter and the store room. This therefore is identified to be the "quieter" floor of the store and separated by the busier first floor with the Children's area and the café.

There are two options to get to the first floor.

One is via a customised lift primarily put in place for Moms with trolleys and for physically disabled customers. This is strategically located in the middle of the space for ease of access.

The other is via an angled looping staircase which is the main feature of the bookstore with the bookshelves on one side with seating and stepped reading areas. Here, aesthetics meet function.

The grand staircase/bookshelf is purposely located at the opposite end of the store to allow customers to journey through the book selections and all the other knick-knacks offered before the staircase escorts them to the first floor.

The feature staircase and integrated reading area

As you walk into the first floor, you will be greeted by a carpeted section for Children's books and while the kids read, the parents get to relax with a book or chat with friends while having a sip of gourmet coffee served on the same floor.

The bookshelves and display tables are of the same finish as the ground floor. The colours of the walls, the floor and the linear details on the ceiling on both floors all bring the different functioning spaces together.

The location of the café was never in question as the large display window is identified from initial conversations with the Client, to be one of the must-have features of the café . This was no small feat as we extended the existing mezzanine floor slab and located the customers counter right next to the large window to provide natural lighting and an inviting view while customers read, work and chat over cake and coffee.

It's all in the details.

The bookcases were designed with the customers in mind.

The uppermost shelves are reachable for most customers by means of a customised pull-out step stool in between the bottom drawers. (Refer to isometric view below for more details.)

Easy-to-read shelf signs are also designed so that they are easily updated as required.

The bookcases are through and through and opens up the space while the black painted metal support acts as bookends.

The bottom of the bookcases are lined with drawers and provides additional storage.

One can never have enough storage space!

A variety of tables, shelves and other units are placed around the store to create distinct display areas for stationary and trinkets. This also adds more space to meet the volume of books that the Client wanted to have on hand.

A recurring small feature you will find as you walk along is the quarter circle detail in the shelves and other joinery items like the doors and cabinets. This shape is inspired from the logo and the intention is to tie all of these details together.

The main finishes you will find are the wood veneered joinery with black painted metal details, white corian counters against a white wall and grey floor background.

Warmth, contrast and contemporary are all achieved with these staple finishes.

Neo Books & Coffee is now open in Riffa Palms.

For more details, please visit their website in the link below :

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