jj acuna / bespoke studio integrates dark green elements + antique finish into coffee shop in hong kong

jj acuna / bespoke studio designed a milanese-style coffee-to-cocktail destination bringing the coffee culture of milan to hong kong’s trendy neighborhood happy valley. the 84 sqm destination officially opened as the first and sole distributor of the famed italian GRISO coffee beans in asia, bringing authentic milanese-style coffee to hong kong.

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images by xu liang leon



jj acuna / bespoke studio reimagined milan’s history and culture by infusing the space with bespoke hand-made milanese design elements from local and international artists, amplifying the brand’s GRISO coffee monopoly position. with a narrative concept that marries various design elements of milan from the 20th century with a refreshing new approach to complement the GRISO coffee variations, snacks, and innovative late-night cocktails, coffeelin is designed to be the new coffee-to-cocktail hub of the neighborhood.

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its fluid transition from out- to indoor with its dog-friendly al fresco seats, plants, and memphis- style wall paintings, turn the hidden gem into the centerpiece of happy valley. an atmospheric region that brings coffee and cocktail enthusiasts together to experience the authentic taste and culture of milan. yet it is established for and inspired by its neighborhood – an ode to hong kong’s quaint district of happy valley.

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the counter-height coffee and cocktail bar marks the heart of the venue with its dark green tiles and antique memphis-style mirrors. the antique finish visually extends the space through reflection and not only reflects vintage italy but also the customers themselves. following the stairs that pay homage to milan’s popular interior design of the ‘20s and ‘30s, the venue offers an intimate private room with more wall paintings and comfortable seating for groups, as well as curtains that add a sense of privacy in particular during cocktail hour.

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from floor to ceiling, the venue incorporates design elements of milan’s past and present to create uniquely refreshing yet nostalgic vibes. patterned marble floor, milanese tables in hardwood walnut and terrazzo stone top, and factory pendant lights that take inspiration from milan in the 1960/70s decorate the interior and give it a trendy vibe. exceptional design highlights also include the custom-made memphis graphics that create a rhythmic design pattern throughout the space from its facade outside to the walls inside, designed by jj acuna / bespoke studio and applied by elsa jeandedieu studio together with venetian plaster finishing on the walls. hand-painted graphic works further define the space with coffee terms and menu items written on the nostalgic mirrors by local artist katol lo, while exterior timber signage with GRISO’s logo was customized by hong kong artist start-from-zero.

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project info:


name: coffeelin happy valley

architects: jj acuna / bespoke studio

design team: james jj acuna, dominic cheung, alex garcia, vivian wu, alexis abiog, eric marasigan

location: happy valley, hong kong

photography: xu liang leon


designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: yasmina karam | designboom

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