Studio Toggle designed the debut boutique for Bean To Bar, a young and upcoming Kuwaiti chocolatier at Argan Square, Salmiya, Kuwait.
Bean To Bar Chocolate Boutique
Gijo Paul George, Hend Almatrouk, Ghanem Younes
The 33m2 space with a narrow frontage posed a significant challenge for the architects who desired to create a bright and airy atmosphere with plenty of storage space and flexibility. The architects devised a simple solution that featured a slender, cellular waffle vault along with the longitudinal axis of the store that morphed into a sleek secondary enclosure. This eliminated the need for a conventional ceiling and created an illusion of a greater expanse.
The dimensions of the cells of the vault were based on the modular packaging unit used by the chocolatier. The vault was re-imagined as an analogue screen with the cells doubling up as pixels.
The vault was parametrically generated and optimized for digital fabrication as a slot-in waffle system. This enhanced the ease of construction, cut down material wastage and resulted in a very precise self-supported steel structure.
The symmetry of the vault is broken and emphasized at the same time by employing an algorithmically generated steel chandelier, which almost has a parasitic relationship with the vault. By juxtaposing these strongly opposing elements, the architects created a refined industrial look for the boutique while maximizing the efficiency and the lightness of the space. Vein-cut silver travertine was chosen as flooring and also to clad the built-in refrigerated counters. This added a warm undertone and balanced the overall ambience.