D’espresso by Nemaworkshop


D'espresso by Nemaworkshop

This espresso bar to be located near Grand Central Station in New York was designed by New York studio Nemaworkshop to resemble a library turned on its side. Update: this project is included in Dezeen Book of Ideas, which is on sale now for £12.

D'espresso by Nemaworkshop

Called D’espresso, the interior has been rotated 90 degrees so that one wall features herringbone-pattern wooden flooring while the opposite wall will have pendent lights protruding horizontally.

D'espresso by Nemaworkshop

A photograph of bookshelves printed on custom tiles will line the floor, end wall and ceiling.

D'espresso by Nemaworkshop

Images are by David Joseph.

The information below is from Nemaworkshop:

Located on Madison Avenue, the espresso bar conceptually and literally turns a normal room sideways, creating a striking identity for the emerging brand.

D'espresso by Nemaworkshop

The client approached nemaworkshop with an ambition to build a unique espresso brand and to develop a creative environment that connects to its location on Madison Avenue near Grand Central Station. Inspired by the nearby Bryant Park Library, nemaworkshop designed a store that is straightforward in a simple twisted way – Take a library and turn it SIDEWAYS.

D'espresso by Nemaworkshop

The book-lined shelves become the floor and ceilings and wood floor ends up on the walls meanwhile the pendants protrude sideways from the wall. To achieve the books shelves on the floor, the space is lined with sepia-toned full size photograph of books printed on custom tiles.

D'espresso by Nemaworkshop

The custom tiles run along the floor, up the 15’ foot wall and across the ceiling. The frosted glass wall behind the service counter illuminates the space and the wall directly opposite is clad in dark brown herringbone. The thrust of this concept finds expression in the lighting and materiality, and ultimately the space gives definition to the emerging brand. The concept itself is bold and receptive to future locations.

D'espresso by Nemaworkshop

See also:


Living with Books and Art
by UNStudio
Mushroom garden
made of books
More interiors

Posted on Tuesday October 19th 2010 at 12:52 am by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • Josh

    It's neat, but personally I'm disappointed by the flatness of the book motif. Seems like something more materially interesting could have been attempted here.

  • I wish these books are reals..covered in glass..

  • jin

    WOW – excellent of example of taking a concept image, skipping any development, then moving straight to construction…..

    this is bad. if only they could have gotten the animal heads for the staff….

  • coffee

    Cool and a bit crazy.

  • Great concept! An espresso bar not to be soon forgotten

  • Tom

    It would have been nice to have access to (the) books somehow… Perhaps by combining the coffee-shop with a (coffee/ railway/ flaneuring..?!) related themed bookshop…

  • amerlok

    Rather creative and well done, especially like the idea of the horizontal lights to give the idea of ceiling. I think the passage of the counter and chairs looks extremely narrow: I suppose that there is a whole lot of bumpin' going on when it gets crowded.
    I suspect we will be seeing even more inception-inspired interiors rather soon.

  • julie

    well, you wanna flip it, fine but flip it all. this is a good example of a concept that has been only half way developed. The counter and the chairs contradict the idea just by the fact that the are not rotated…why??…a bit of design work would have really made this outstanding.Every object you add should make your concept stronger….

    things still can appear flipped without loosing its function and projects like the famous flipped viktor & rolf store in milan show that this concept is extraordinary, if done well……

  • Zia

    well done! upside down is really destabilizing.. i'm wonder how is the digestion!

  • Derr

    I oddly like this! I am not fond of real books used only for decorative purposes, and was rather pleased to see they were tiles.

    I do agree with Tom, though, if it had been a literary coffee shop (tiles for floor and ceiling, bookshelves on the wall for the clients to access), it would have been better.

  • dave gronlie

    I was thinking the floor/wall was rather bare, but then I figured one could do a lot of fun things with it. A carpet could be tacked up there for a time. Later, one could put muddy footprints tracking across this surface, or maybe a spilled drink….


  • //jz

    When I found out they were not real books, it totally took the wonder out of it all. Bummer.

  • RJC

    very cool but does make me feel a little sick

  • there are only 10 or 20 design elements in the entire room. That is cute but not enough to provide an immersive experience that continues to expand as you view it. This is the problem with modernism, you always get the idea in 10 seconds and then are left with nothing left to experience. For some reason, this makes me feel lonely in Modernist spaces.

  • gynous.work

    A new coffee brand doesn't need accessible books, IT NEEDS GOOD COFFEE!
    And why do people need to access the wall?! Who is going to coffee shops and reading random books? THAT'S WHAT THE LIBRARY IS FOR!
    Skip the gimmicks, can you get WiFi, are the chairs comfortable and how does it taste?! For the sake of the highest & best use, seating in NYC is always a challenge, and a library has plenty of it. CONTEXT! What a waste of space, let's hope the coffee is better than the "architecture".

  • Coffee lover

    Just don't get how the $500,000 budget got eaten up.
    Feels like the client got fleeced. Anyone read the NYT piece? http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/30/garden/30rooms….

  • Quite surprised by so many negative comments. Its a bit of fun, I love it!

  • yeah I agree, a printed flat surface is not as interesting as a more tactile
    or fabricated surface, but I guess it was the initial WOW factor and not
    an experiment in surface materials and depth that finalised the decision for a printed wallpaper effect. It made me look twice so it works, I would stop and have a coffee.

  • It's a coffee shop to remember and that's exactly what it is!
    The idea/concept could be taken further but what's really the point with that? Don't over-do-it

  • Zino

    Looks good in pictures, but probably kinda cheesy in person, no? Never been very fond of photo-print surfaces because they just scream “FAKE!”

  • ThirskUK

    Went there yesterday, super tiny… not as nice as photos shown here…

  • obefiend

    This is awesome! i feel like im on the set of INCEPTION

  • BlankInspired

    I agree with Woojin. I think an opportunity was missed to create the environment out of real books. Love the idea of the clear floor with real books underneath. If at least the wall spaces were real books to create an interactive space where people could even perhaps pull books out from the wall as a bit of an homage to the fading concept of physical libraries. This could have been one of the last coffee shops where you can actually enjoy a printed book while drinking a cup of java.

  • Unsure

    I agree with everyone, it looks great in photos but once you are physically in the space – it is incredibly underwhelming.

  • notsomuch

    It leaves me feeling dizzy just by looking at it…I think the wall could have been done slightly better. Don’t really get what the big deal is really.

  • kidney dave

    I just don't know how they expect to make much money with only very minimal seating space.

  • It's a fun idea and I'd go in for a coffee to get a closer look but would I go back again? Certainly seems like 500k is way too much for just a concept that should cost relatively little to implement.