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Exploring the Industrial-Inspired Coffee Culture of Judo Espresso Dojo

Judo Espresso Dojo, Chengdu, CN / Nhoow Architects

Xin Jie

Nhoow Architects has created a unique coffee shop in the old urban area of Chengdu that takes inspiration from an industrial Judo Dojo. The café, named Judo Espresso Dojo, pays homage to both coffee and Judo, as well as the 2004 film Throw Down, which emphasizes the importance of making everyone feel at home.

Judo Espresso Dojo, Chengdu, CN / Nhoow Architects

The designer has incorporated an unfinished and industrial aesthetic throughout the coffee shop, reminiscent of a construction site office or a hidden back alley. The 26-square-meter space is designed in a symmetrical square layout, allowing guests to have a clear view of the entire area.

Judo Espresso Dojo, Chengdu, CN / Nhoow Architects

Instead of traditional signboards, guests enter the café through a door curtain created by the fashion designer Wang Yuanyuan. Depending on the weather, visitors have the option to open or close the doors, which are made of polyester braided rope and angle steel, connected with zippers.

Judo Espresso Dojo, Chengdu, CN / Nhoow Architects

During the renovation process, the original wall was preserved after removing the tiles. Glass magnesium fireproof boards were then installed at a specific height, exposing the internal structure of the shop. This unique design choice allows customers to see through polycarbonate hollow boards, revealing elements such as insulation film, rectangular tube keel, exposed colored wires, and EVA cloth.

Judo Espresso Dojo, Chengdu, CN / Nhoow Architects

To further enhance the resourceful aspect of the space, recycled gangboards from construction sites were repurposed as the flooring material. Additionally, the furniture within the café is crafted from aluminum profiles and multi-layer boards.