Jungle-like interiors define this chocolate store in Taiwan by Soar Design Studio
Taiwanese architecture firm Soar Design Studio looks to nature for this chocolate specialty store in Taipei City.
Only plenty of greenery and organic shapes seemed appropriate when designing the interiors of Terra Bean to Bar, a chocolate shop in Taiwan. Its name is perfectly reflective of the earth-like vision Soar Design Studio had for the project after learning more about the brand.
“The chef travels around the world to search for all kinds of cocoa beans, from South America, India to Asia and other places,” the Taiwanese studio explains. Using these cocoa beans, the bar invites customers to taste the most original flavors of cocoa in its rawest form as well as a plethora of desserts, drinks and chocolate liqueurs.
“Dismantling and exploring the essence of chocolate desserts and drinks is actually experiencing nature.”
Upon meeting the client and learning about his experience travelling across Central and South America, living in the first and forming part of an agricultural teaching group, the architects wanted to create something that felt natural.
Housed on the ground floor of a thirty-year-old apartment building, Soar came up with the idea of making the interiors look as though nature had invaded Terra Bean to Bar.
“First, we recessed the original indoor area by 1.5 to 2 meters, piled up mounds, planted plants, and used soft design techniques to create a garden-like space,” the studio says.
Throughout the store is an abundance of plants interspersed with minimal shelving and display tables that rest on top of amorphous forms rising up from the floor. The architects chose to create a non-linear navigation and create a freedom of movement that of a natural environment.
“We deliberately made the moving lines as twists and turns like the “rainforest” path in the natural environment, and the whole scheme is regarded as a combination of several circulating moving lines.”
Curious to know more about biophilic design? Head to the Guide to Biophilic Design – Kellert’s principles and the benefits of nature.
The chosen colour palette is inspired by the colour of soil. Meanwhile, the studio looked to the shape of cocoa beans to design the display stands, cake cabinets and bar counters.
“The bar counter is also made using the ground fruits and shells of cocoa beans as paint, which we invited the chef to paint with us by hand, creating a more natural texture and adhering to the natural theme.”
As well as mimicking the look and feel of nature, Soar Design Studio wanted the store to feel integrated within the local environment. To achieve this it has left an open space at the front entrance where people can stop and rest. It also chose floor-to-ceiling glass windows further strengthening the connection between the interior and the exterior.
“The solid wood frames and the transparent display shelf symbolize the visual sense of the natural forest, and the curved glass exterior wall reflects the fluidity of the space.”
Taiwan-based Soar Design Studio is specialized in creating empathetic interiors spanning both residential and commercial projects. Their style is recognisable for its combination of Asian design elements and biophilic principles.
The studio often preserves a minimalistic vibe through the use of a limited variety of materials and a pure color palette to create warm and welcoming environments.
In 2019, the studio won a Golden Pin Design Award for a residential project dividing a single high-ceiling space into multiple levels. Dubbed ‘Life in Tree House’, the project was a great example of small-spaced residential architecture.
Discover more studios focusing on biophilic design, don’t miss the best biophilic interior design studios.