8 cafés and coffee shops around the world designed by PUDDLE for % arabica

8 cafés and coffee shops around the world designed by PUDDLE for % arabica

PUDDLE is a tokyo-based design studio led by masaki kato. the firm focuses on renovation projects with a mission to create ‘renewed’ spaces which incorporate the nuances of the particular land, people, and technique. over the past decade, PUDDLE has worked closely with % arabica to open a number of cafés in japan and beyond. from kyoto, the coffee company’s hometown, to berlin, we take a look at eight coffee shops designed by PUDDLE.


% arabica kyoto arashiyama

puddle arabica
image by takumi ota (also main image)



completed by PUDDLE in 2015, % arabica’s kyoto arashiyama location is sited along the katsura river. the design highlights the characteristic roofing and flooring of traditional japanese architecture, while sliding glass doors blur the division between indoors and out. ‘the white marble counter extends through the glass wall, and can be used like a bar top for outdoor seating,’ explains masaki kato.


% arabica kiosk @ parasophia

puddle arabica
image by takumi ota | see more on designboom here



the kiosk @ parasophia was designed for the 2015 kyoto international modern arts festival, which took place at the kyoto city art museum. the kiosk itself, including the time and space required for its construction until removal, was conceived to look like a part of the exhibition. the structure is easy to set up and dismantle, meaning that it could be constructed quickly at any given location.


% arabica kuwait gardenia

puddle arabica
image by takumi ota



the kuwait gardenia coffee shop was built in an open space on the ground floor of a previously completed high-rise complex, adjacent to a shopping mall. it was constructed as a glass box with the maximum allowed floor area of 73 square meters (786 sqf). ‘in kuwait people drink coffee until well after midnight and the transparent glass box, with its warm and welcoming lighting, encourages potential customers to enter when the temperature falls in the evenings,’ says the design team.


% arabica kuwait roastery

puddle arabica
image by takumi ota



the kuwait roastery seeks to develop business-to-business opportunities in the region. occupying a large plot measuring 300 square meters (3,229 sqf), the design team gave the existing building a new façade with a canopy that shields the interior from bright sunlight. ‘the design is particularly fitting for % arabica brand’s image of cleanliness and seamlessness, and is the perfect opportunity to present the new roasting function of this location,’ PUDDLE explains.


% arabica hong kong star ferry

8 cafés and coffee shops around the world designed by PUDDLE for % arabica image by johnny gin



% arabica’s hong kong star ferry location is the company’s first coffee shop in hong kong. completed in 2017, the intimate 17 square meter (183 sqf) kiosk is located at the boarding point of the star ferry — a passenger ferry that connects hong kong island and kowloon.


% arabica kyoto higashiyama

8 cafés and coffee shops around the world designed by PUDDLE for % arabica
image by takumi ota



the kyoto higashiyama location is % arabica’s first store. the café, which opened in 2014, is contained within a two-story house built about 50 years ago. the brief called for a shop that included a stockyard for coffee beans and a showroom for the coffee bean roaster. in addition, the location had to serve as a base to train baristas from all over the world. ‘the glass storefront opens up the entire shop to passersby, tempting one to stop and take a peek inside,’ says the design team.


% arabica kyoto fujii daimaru


image by takumi ota


completed in 2016, the fujii daimaru café is the company’s third location. the outpost is situated on the ground floor of a department store in the heart of kyoto. ‘one notable feature of our fujii daimaru store is the extra seating space, so you won’t be lacking for a place to rest with a good cup of coffee,’ comments % arabica.


% arabica berlin

8 cafés and coffee shops around the world designed by PUDDLE for % arabica
image by yuto yamada



in 2018, % arabica opened its first store in europe. located in berlin’s kreuzberg district, the café is contained within a historic building and is accessed from an internal courtyard. ‘inspired by dieter rams, a german industrial designer who I have been influenced by, the store fixtures were designed to look like detached and light-weight units, as if these look like products rather than display furnitures,’ says masaki kato.



project info:


design: PUDDLE
client: arabica


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