Filmmaker Wes Anderson’s distinctive visual style provided the inspiration for Melbourne-based architecture firm Biasol to design The Budapest Café in Chengdu, China. “Our design draws on filmmaker Wes Anderson’s meticulous, memorable and magical worlds to create an inviting destination with whimsical character and international appeal,” said Biasol.
Much like Anderson’s mythical Budapest Hotel, The Budapest Café is designed to offer an experience that detaches patrons from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
“We began by understanding Anderson’s style: his symmetrical, precise and quirky set designs; vivid and nostalgic color palettes; and the sentiment that infuses his films,” explained the designers. “He tends towards one-point perspectives and peering down from above; gives attention to the edges of a set as much as the middle; and frames stories with proscenium arches,” they continued.
Biasol‘s modern, minimalist and refreshing interpretation is defined by design, materiality and brand. The building façade projects a sense of grandeur with an arch framing the entrance and welcoming patrons to The Budapest Café. Once inside, customers are invited to engage with the physical design of the café, much like a stage set for patrons to play out their own story.
Layers, elevations and design features encourage customers to explore the space. A mezzanine level provides a view from above; symmetrical arches frame recessed seating and shelving; and stairs and steps lead upstairs, lead nowhere, and are integrated into shelving, fireplaces and the long marble bar.
The Budapest Café is designed to feel feminine, light and fun, despite its loftiness and exposed structure. A pink ball pool, neon signage and original Eero Aarnio Bubble chair inspire playfulness, and the bathrooms surprise with speckled pink terrazzo to complement and contrast with the nostalgic-green hues of the café.
The contrasting hard and soft colors and design details reflect the personalities of Anderson’s characters in The Grand Budapest Hotel, enhanced by branding integrated into the café through signage, menus and printed collateral.
“Like Anderson, we create imagination and evocative spaces,” said Biasol. “Our design for The Budapest Cafe has a relaxed and indulgent atmosphere; a whimsical and elegant aesthetic; and a hospitality experience infused with Melbourne’s cafe culture.”
all images © James Morgan