With the rise of online shopping, today’s brick and mortar retail spaces all aim to be different – even touching upon user experience design and behavioural patterns. GIR café by Studio AUTORI was born out of this same necessity. Situated in New Belgrade, Serbia, as an extension of the GIR furniture showroom, the new café acts as a place where creative forces can meet and discuss or simply enjoy a cup of coffee while delighting themselves visually of timber products and stylish displays.
Studio AUTORI is known to design spaces that spark curiosity, and this is exceedingly present at the café’s entrance. The mammoth-sized arch mirror doors – think Alice Through the Looking Glass types – open to reveal a hidden space with darker contrasting tones. Black juxtaposes the crisp white, just as the floor-to-ceiling oak veneer and black furniture meet the white bright terrazzo floor.
Although sitting adjacent to the showroom, the more petite 60 square-metre café became part of GIR’s story through the extension of the material palette and the products themselves. While the showroom acts as an introduction to the process of manufacturing solid wood furniture, the GIR café takes visitors even further – reminiscent of the forest and the source. Studio AUTORI plays on this concept by including a deep black marble, the Nero Marquina, at the bar, which works as a visually appealing backdrop statement with its delicate bright white veining. A photo of Mangart mountain, straight from the vaults of an enthusiastic hiker’s experience, transports visitors even further into the context.
Taking inspiration from the 2016 showroom design with the awe-inspiring white steel spiral staircase, a neutral colour palette was adopted to act as the perfect pairing to the inquisitive showroom design. Accents of greenery merely highlight the ease of being in the space, while the mood suggests coffee and conversation.