Taking over the ground and first floors of a modern low-rise in Osaka, Tokyo-based studio I IN has created a coffee shop that is futuristic, traditional and – in line with the coffee chain’s insignia – blue.

Tasked with this first Blue Bottle Café in Osaka, the Japanese studio has opted for a futuristic and immersive design. Azure glass table tops on the ground floor are a clear reference to the brand’s signature hue whilst also drawing the eye of passersby strolling through the city’s vibrant Chayamachi district.

In addition to smooth plywood giving more warmth to the space, touches of blue light up the concrete and stainless steel of the industrial building. In order to attract people to leave the sidewalk and have a cup of coffee inside, the designers have formulated a hybrid space incorporating new technologies within a concept inspired by one of Japan’s most sacred social gatherings – tea ceremonies.

The ground level is arranged around a large polished stainless-steel bar, inviting guests to interact with the cafe’s baristas while upstairs visitors are enticed by a multi-sensory experience in the form of immersive sounds and images, which ‘fall from the ceiling’ through a large rectangular screen. Surrounding this is a seating arrangement anchored by a frosted glass enclosure and lined with terrazzo benches to encourage coffee drinkers to sit and chat with one another.

With the subtle inclusion of digital art within a traditional café, the I IN studio offers a clean and sophisticated design representing the values and identity of Blue Bottle. The brand has opened several outposts across Japan since it opened in California some 18 years ago and is enjoying great success.

Photo credit: TomookiKengaku

Architects: Studio I IN