Dezeen Magazine

Ras Al Khaimah's minimalist Hoof cafe is designed to recall horse stalls

Sinks that look like water troughs and rustic plaster walls feature within this spartan UAE cafe recently completed by design studio Bone.

Located in Ras Al Khaimah, the UAE's northernmost emirate, Hoof is a 115-square-metre cafe described by Bone as "a brutalist reinterpretation of countryside equine architecture".

Hoof cafe designed by Bone

The young design studio, which has previously completed another cafe in Dubai, was commissioned to design the interior of Hoof by three friends who have a shared passion for horses, show jumping and specialty coffee.

It was the clients' love of horses that prompted Bone Studio to explore the minimal design of horse stalls.

"[A horse stall's] minimal design and proportions suffice to provide the horse with bare necessities, no more, no less," explained the studio.

Hoof cafe designed by Bone

This has been translated into the minimalist design of the cafe, which is sparsely furnished with stainless-steel and lime-washed fixtures.

Blocky hand-brushed steel counters have been broken up to highlight different elements of the coffee-making process.

Narrow sinks have been fitted with stainless-steel taps that are able to serve both the baristas and customers, mimicking the construction of horse water-troughs.

Hoof cafe designed by Bone

To offset the industrial feel of the steel, the studio used tactile finishes and muted, warm colours elsewhere in the space.

Perpendicular banquettes finished in lime face either side of the bar, while the walls and ceiling are covered in rustic, clay-straw plaster.

Materials that are more typically used in outdoor settings, like semi-exposed aggregate concrete – a type of decorative concrete  – were applied to the cafe's floor.

Hoof cafe designed by Bone

Woven wool cushions from Swedish textile brand Astrid have been scattered across the banquettes as decor. Fluted-glass wall lights by Lebanese brand PS Lab also dot the clay walls, joining the recessed spotlights by Flos across the ceiling.

"[Hoof] immerses one in an environment that through its subtle spatial planning, minimalistic architecture, earthy materiality, and detailed construction techniques will make one feel familiar yet intrigued by the implicit yet bold reinterpretation of a horse stable," added the studio.

Hoof cafe designed by Bone

Bone isn't the only studio to complete a cafe with a minimalist aesthetic – back in 2017, Ritz&Ghougassian used a restrained material palette of concrete and terrazzo to create Melbourne's pared-back Penta cafe.

Nendo also added stepped seating and brass tables to the otherwise simple interior of the % Arabica coffee shop in Kuwait.