There\'s no doubt that cafe culture has boomed across the globe in the past two decades, with amazing designer cafes springing up in some equally remarkable – and sometimes surprising – places.
Featuring cafe designs from more than 30 countries, with stories on their design, philosophy and local coffee culture, bestcafedesigns.com charts the expansion of cafe culture across the globe – from the remote Hunza Valley in Pakistan to Ho Chi Minh City, and from Barranco in Peru to Bucharest, Hungary.
The ever-growing site is the brainchild of Sydney architect Andrew Chung, a senior associate with fjcstudio.
“I\'ve always had an interest in architecture, photography, coffee and digital skills,” says Andrew. “In a Forrest Gump moment, I went out one day to photograph a cafe during a coffee break in the Sydney CBD using only my smartphone. From there, I continued to photograph one to three a day and am currently up to 70 cafes photographed and continuing.
“To me, it\'s an enjoyable experience to drink coffee, take a break and enjoy the ambiance of a well-designed cafe. Then, knowing the design crowd likes design and coffee, I thought how can I expand this?”
Andrew hopped on Upwork, the international freelance marketplace, and asked if anyone wanted to be commissioned to photograph designer cafes in their local neighbourhood. He ended up hiring 40 photographers, some professional, some amateur, spanning the globe.
“I gave each person a photography brief and tips for taking architectural photos on their smartphone and received amazing responses from all corners of the world, including Pakistan, Lebanon, Vietnam, Peru, the UK, Germany, Spain, Ukraine and many more.
I then engaged Penelope Barker, an accomplished writer and a former editor at Vogue Living, Belle and Indesign magazines and a well respected writer in the architectural and design space, to write stories about these amazing cafes pictured from all over the world.”
Using his web design skills, the multi-talented Andrew assembled bestcafedesigns.com with the hope that it would intersect to appeal to design lovers, travellers and coffee aficionados.
“From here,” says Andrew, “I am making bestcafedesigns.com an online journal platform for architects and cafe operators to publish their own cafe designs for a global design audience. I\'ve already received submissions from reputable architects from China, Japan, Korea and the UK.
“I\'ve been involved in cafe design myself on occasion and realise that an immense amount of design thinking goes into the pragmatics, appearance and identity of a cafe. We all know the laneway cafes, and the minimalist cafes, as well as the rustic and industrial cafes. They all pay very close attention to the ergonomics, textures and finishes, lighting and fixtures, to produce a great user experience.”
Combine all this with the passion of the cafe owners for great coffee and good food and you have a truly great cafe – as shown by the more than 150 cafe designs and growing featured on bestcafedesigns.com
Think your favourite cafe might make the grade? Download Andrew\'s free e-guide on how to achieve great looking architectural shots with your smartphone from bestcafedesigns.com and snap away. When you have the photos, hit the “Submit” button at the top of the home page.