The Kith Café by Hjgher

February 9, 2011

Hjgher, a design collective in Singapore, have designed the Kith Café.


The Kith Café by Hjgher

The concept for Kith Café was inspired by a simple phrase from the Japanese film, Be with you. It translates into “would you care to have coffee with me sometime?” a plain and sincere question that has the power to turn strangers into kith and kin.

It was not just a matter of coming up with a Kith Café, but creating a complete experience. This meant no fancy lampshades,  mass-manufactured furniture, or unnecessarily printed materials were to be used in its interior. Instead, the focus was on delivering an unassuming space that could support Kith’s honest philosophy and ethos.

Upon entering the quaint 28 square meter space, customers could choose to sit on a long, tall communal bar table on the left seating or a low bench area on the right. This allowed a spatial contrast due to the split eye-levels which increased the perceived space of the seating area. The custom-made furniture for the seating area was designed to be flexible and flexible, to break down personal space barriers and encourage customers to interact. To maximize floor space, most modular blocks can double as either a table or a bench; and even be used if necessary to seat two people instead of one. This way, the small space can accommodate a group of up to twenty.

Placing emphasis on an authenticity in production of the custom made furniture; the focus was on adept hand workmanship to produce a pure and simply elegant form that is inspired by the growth of nature.  Over 10,000 blocks of plywood were trimmed to calculated dimensions of varying lengths and thickness, then hand layered block by block and affixed with absolute precision. The altering dimensions of each block gives an organic construct similar to the random and organic growth process of a tree thereby creating an authentic finish to every piece.

In consideration to the work area consisting of the kitchen and serving area, the requirements of the owners were understood thoroughly before designing a work area that maximized the limited space. Practical placements of the coffee machine and grinder, ice-cream fridge, sandwich preparation area, juicer, cold storage and disposal, all had to be taken into account to guarantee a smooth and comfortable area for working and for a harmonious flow of body movements especially during peak periods.

Emphasis was also placed on relaying the sincerity and openness of the café: open wrought iron shelves openly display the storage of fresh produce and most of the outlet’s inventory, putting further emphasis on the open and honest concept of Kith Café. In line with the informal atmosphere, the space is adorned by a handwritten menu on the chalkboard wall along with 10 evenly spaced single wire naked light bulbs, as any fancy lighting would render the already small space, smaller than it already is.

Kith café sits by the Singapore River, ideal for joggers, bicycles or dog watching and open for anyone seeking good food and great company to come together and enjoy.

Visit the Hjgher website – here.