Michele Saee Studio
Changing the flow of fast food in a
flexible new chain
© Marvin Rand
For more photos click on 'photos
& drawings' above.
To see the people and products
behind this project click on 'people & products.'
A series of cafes for Nestle, the first
of which is located in Paris, confront the need for adaptability
without resorting to standardization. Eschewing the "rubber
stamp" quality of most commercial chains, the architects
attempted to break out of a system where architecture plays
second to logos on napkins. To this end, they developed a
flexible system composed of three variables: the wrapping
skin, the graphic ribbon, and the coffee bar interface.
Conceived as an interactive device ready
to fluctuate and accommodate, the skin is always in continuous
flux. It engages the body by folding into a bench, unfolding
into a counter, following the movement of the body, and bending
and curving to deflect flow while simultaneously reflecting
The ribbon, or main graphic interface,
displays the required branding images of the product, in lieu
of framed posters on a wall. This architectural device not
only absorbs the graphic layers but also simultaneously defines
zones. In the same manner as the skin, it follows and redirects
the flows of the café experience.
The coffee bar serves as the main physical
interface between the product and the consumer. Unlike the
other two variables, it has a definite edge, a boundary dividing
specific zones. The bar fluctuates and bends according to
the activities on its edge: selection, payment, waiting, receiving,
adjusting, and consuming. As a container, display, interface,
and boundary, this feature changes form according t0 the specificities
of localized activity. Thus, with components that react, deflect,
fluctuate, and engage the body and site, Café Nescafe
presents a dynamic new environment for fast food.
2,000 sq. ft.
Michele Saee Studio
5366 Wilshire Blvd. #B
L.A., CA 90036