Newly-opened Aura Cafe was developed in tandem with the Signature Lux Hotels Sandton branch.
When it came down to the interior design, Cottle + Bergh‘s brief was to create a bespoke coffee brand to service the Signature Lux hotel – providing breakfasts and room service – but also hold its own as a standalone brand bringing in foot traffic from the street, says Frans Bergh, a founding partner of C+B. “The interior had to be inviting, cosy but contemporary, durable, and memorable. As always, our client was looking for the best result on a limited budget.”
In designing the Aura Café interior, C+B sought to reflect the modern offering of the hotel and blend it with a warm, inviting interior inspired by the latest design seen in the similar cafés overseas. “We love to travel and make a point of observing the ways in which design is expressed across different locations for different cultures,” adds Bergh.
“We drew our inspiration for this interior from the modern functionality of the hotel itself, the efficiency of pedestrian traffic seen in New York City and the level of elegance and emphasis on coffee as a product and the theatre of the baristas seen in Vienna.”
Unique aspects to Aura Café’s design includes the use of solid locally sourced Kiaat timber, which has detailed imperfections and a rich, varied grain.
Bergh adds that all the shop fitting elements were designed to be easily removed which means that when the space needs to be refurbished again in the future, the elements can easily be taken off while the shell undergoes building work, moved to a new location or absorbed into another store.
“We work extremely hard to present projects to our clients in as much visual detail as possible, leaving little chance for misinterpretation or a difference in expectations between our vision and theirs. We are proud of this store and of the on-going working relationship we have with Aura Coffee Excellence,” he concluded.
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