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Two ALGEBRAIST COFFEE Shops in Changsha, China by STILL YOUNG

Project name:
Algebraist coffee Star World Store, Changsha. Algebraist coffee Super Wenheyou Store, Changsha
Architecture firm:
Changsha, China
Yuuuun Studio, Xiaofu Liu
Principal architect:
Eric. Ch, Yanagi, Ebay Wang
Design team:
Brand Manager: Mr. Jiang; Floor Plan: Azel Wang; Construction drawing: Mr. Jiang, Mr. Gao, Jeff Wang
Built area:
Cafe 1 = 103.6 ㎡+18.9㎡; Cafe 2 = 34.1 ㎡
Site area:
Design year:
Completion year:
Interior design:
Structural engineer:
Environmental & MEP:
Ethan Li, Donald Lin, Kohler Zhang
Tools used:
Hospitality › Cafe

Against the gorgeous landscape of Yuelu Mountain and Xiangjiang River, the sparkling sunset at Juzizhou Islet and the colorful signboards in the Jiefangxi business area complement each other, making Changsha a popular spot on social media among young people. algebraist coffee, an avant-garde coffee chain brand, opened two new stores in Star World and Super Wenheyou, and collaborated with STILL YOUNG again to create a contemporary community space featuring the brand style and city spirit.

01. The first store in Changsha/ Pure expression of innovative materials

The first store of algebraist coffee in Changsha stands beside the main road. Its outstanding 10-meter-high shopfront has become an attractive visual focus to arouse the consumers' curiosity to the greatest extent. The design extracts coffee culture elements and innovates material application. The embossed facade adopts a 3D print approach with painted sandstone carving to simulate the real flowing coffee. The super symbol, as the brand symbol, grabs attention and enhances emotional connection with consumers. The back-lit logo at the visual center of the shopfront matches the hanging spliced gradient red acrylic logo installation on the right of the entrance.

The store coordinates appear as luminous acrylic round tubes embedded in hollow carvings of stainless-steel round tubes, and every corner reveals the exquisite design of details. Ultra-white tempered glass with a minimalist silver frame presents a unique aesthetics of craftsmanship. Following a design strategy of module repetition and symbol deconstruction, the interior space uses different materials with distinct decoration styles and characteristics, thus, the warmth of wood and the futuristic sense of silver blend Refine and rich in texture, the dark marble bar counter and the 3.2-meter-high solid wood composed of a matrix of 80x80cm carved monograms enrich the layers of space.

The arrayed modular design method also responds to the mathematical elements behind the brand algebraist coffee. With a light and soft design, natural streamlines run through the entire space. The dark inner walls extend the facade design language, and the layers of the ceiling seem like flowing flat white. The curved tabletops and seats and elegant green plants create a fresh and warm atmosphere.

02. Super Wenheyou Store

The narrative journey of vintage cinema

Compared with the personalized brand presentation of the first store in Changsha, Super Wenheyou Store has made great efforts to integrate into the local commercial vibes. The project site Super Wenheyou is a must-visit small-scale creative business district with various forms of business in Changsha. The introduction of the coffee shop adapts to the lifestyle and consumption habits of the young.

A homage to the site, the design grasps the context and fabric of the city. While retaining the vintage atmosphere of Changsha, it injects the delicacy of exotic coffee and ingeniously blends it with the local culture. The illuminating red neon brand logo on the tile facade forms an impressive visual contrast with other signboards of the block, attracting the bustling people on the street. In the retro 1980's themed space, the interior design adopted dim and warm lighting, wooden floors, windows and doors with antique-style ceiling fans, resulting in a strong sense of nostalgic atmosphere that arouses emotional resonance among consumers.

The design team cooperated with a dramatic scene construction team to create a narrative journey of vintage cinema for visitors through the careful selection of each piece of furniture. Such low-slung space serves for meetings with friends, recalling the history and memory of the old neighborhood in Changsha, enjoying the refined and trendy coffee, and slowing down to feel the peace and tranquility of time. The design integrates space with the consumption experience, conveying the warm energy in this organically renewed site.

02. Design postscript

Klein Dai

Founder of algebraist coffee

"The super symbol has been implemented in the eight-year operation of algebraist coffee. The design logic of the brand logo comes from the coffee-making method, from the extraction of coffee, and pour-over coffee, to the traditional French press coffee and siphon coffee, which essentially represents respect and belief in coffee making, and is also our constant pursuit of high quality. We hope to establish a friendly relationship with consumers through brand culture and bring consumers a unique experience in space design and products. "



"When building the brand image, we think together with algebraist coffee and inject brand genes into the design. For different stores, we create differentiated store images based on local culture, hoping to bring distinctive perceptions and experiences to customers, which is also our pursuit of design.”

As an experienced entrepreneur, algebraist coffee has become a fast-growing new brand in the coffee field and has established hundreds of stores across China. They stress brand culture, focus on user experience, give priority to high-quality coffee, and continue to develop and innovate to transform coffee from a product for elite groups into a commercialized mass-market brand. As a partner in space design, STILLYOUNG follows the concept of "one store, one style" to design varied types of stores for different customer groups. In each original aesthetic space exclusive to algebraist coffee, the multi-dimensional storespace with a sense of layers makes coffee drinking more fashionable and cool.



Founded in 2007, STILL YOUNG is headquartered in Shanghai, and has offices in Guangzhou and Wuhan. The design practice is dedicated to delivering high-standard, customized spatial solutions to far-sighted leading commercial brands. Based on a holistic and systematic approach, STILL YOUNG works on full lifecycle design for commercial spaces. As consumption modes keep upgrading, the company's subdivided multi-disciplinary team guarantees the effective execution of creative ideas in all dimensions, to empower brand spaces to create everlasting commercial value adaptively. 

Having been working in multiple sectors including catering, fashion, new retail and interactive entertainment and delving into lifestyles and business modes for 15 years, STILL YOUNG has established an international vision and gained rich practical experience. As a desirable design solution provider for Fortune Global 500 companies and emerging domestic brands, STILL YOUNG has been continuously engaging in business innovation in China. The practice is equipped with an experienced professional team, with a clear division of work in varied aspects including design, material techniques, VI, site survey, MEP, and HVAC, etc. STILL YOUNG approaches commercial design through logical thinking, and manages to create differentiated, innovative spatial scenes, hoping to convey the value of design to clients and end users.

The innovation of commercial design is relevant to the future of cities and public life. As the development of economy, technology and culture in China has been breeding infinite possibilities for commercial space, STILL YOUNG established a LAB team dedicated to chain brands, to deliver differentiated designs for each project. The LAB team adopts a work approach that effectively combines standardized practice with experimental original design.

STILL YOUNG strives to develop into a leading original design platform that gathers emerging design talents based on a philosophy of inclusiveness and diversity, to build a Chinese design community with strong global presence, and to seek mutual growth with the staff and the clients.

By Liliana Alvarez

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