Vista by Karv One Design: 2020 Best of Year Winner for Counter Service

Could the Vista café be any better named? The 3,000-square-foot space uses strong visual tension—a dramatic confrontation between dreamy, evocative imagery and practical, everyday reality—to bring a new sense of imaginative reverie to the counter-service experience. Karv One Design’s principal strategy has been to suspend a sinuous white metal grid vertically from the café ceiling. Light as a ribbon fluttering in the breeze, this other-worldly element twists and curls its way through the double-height volume, flowing above semicircular service bars, banquette seating, and built-in planters. Abundant greenery is also hung, Spanish moss–style, among the folds of the cloudlike installation, whereby in the design team’s words, “a surreal white garden is created for the city.” The extensive use of gradient glass and carefully orchestrated linear lighting add to the ethereal atmosphere, while stainless-steel counters and terrazzo floors and benches anchor the floating vision on solid ground. Outside, a water feature echoes the fluid theme, while the café, seen through its welcoming glass facade, has the allure of a mirage oasis for parched travelers in the desert.

Photography by King Ou.

Project Team: Kyle Chan; Jimmy He; Yujie Peng; Amber Ho.

> See the full list of winners and honorees from Best of Year 2020

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