Nodi Coffee by Office AIO

Introducing a Fresh Narrative to a Lobby Cafe
In the heart of Shanghai’s bustling Jing’an district, Nodi, a brand born from the rich tapestry of Hong Kong’s coffee culture, unveils its latest creation. Nodi, deriving its name from the Latin word for “knot,” embodies the spirit of connection—between people, places, and the passionate ritual of coffee. This young, artisan coffee brand has carved a niche for itself by transforming the simple act of drinking coffee into a conduit for human interaction and creativity.

As it makes its debut in the greater China region with its inaugural shop nestled within the iconic Jing’an Kerry Centre—just steps away from Vogue China’s headquarter. Surrounded by giants like Blue Bottle, %Arabica, Fuel, and Starbucks Reserve, Nodi introduces a fresh narrative to the coffee experience.

Nodi’s new venue occupies a grand 12-meter high lobby space in the Kerry Centre’s office tower, and is made up of three meticulously designed zones: the coffee bar, indoor seating, and a recessed south-facing outdoor patio sheltered from the bustling street while leading into Kerry Centre’s mall entrance.

Reflecting Nodi’s core values of inspiration, variety, vitality and thoughtful curation, Office AIO has devised a striking pavilion-like structure with a permeable ceiling to command presence in the expansive lobby.

Ensuring Efficiency and Tribute to Brand Beliefs
The bar area is further divided into two sections, front and back of house. to ensure a noble and immaculate coffee-making area whilst achieving efficient operation. Between these two sections, the team was inspired by the classic Chinese screens and created a partition that provides a level of privacy while maintaining transparency. A grid like timber partition at a glance, up close, portrays a motif formed by the brand’s letter “n”, adding richness and subtlety. Working alongside the motif partition, the backdrop within the back of house acts as a light box. Dimly lit in warm hues, animates glimpses of the busy silhouettes of baristas at work.

Considering the daily capacity of a lobby coffee bar, the front bar is arranged in a tried and true L shape configuration, optimised to accommodate flows from multiple directions. The design however, challenges to be seen and experienced with its own flair. Each function within the bar is expressed as individual blocks, each with its own form and detailing, enriching the traditionally singular bar and portrays a sense of vitality and quirkiness, reinforcing the brand’s playful yet sophisticated ethos.

Bespoke Pieces for an Integrated Identity
Seating arrangements offer a diverse mix, including pieces from HAY and custom-designed tables and benches, accommodating groups of varying sizes. This area seamlessly connects with the bar through a shared palette of green marble and dark timber veneer, unifying the space despite the immutable floor material.

A particularly inventive touch is the super-sized knotted rope installation at the mall’s entrance, doubling as outdoor seating. This playful nod to Nodi’s namesake was meticulously prototyped by Office AIO, using real ropes to capture the essence of a knot’s natural form before scaling it to ergonomic dimensions. In collaboration with the Belgian brand Sixinch, known for their foam coating technology, the knot was crafted to be not only visually striking but also durable and versatile, encapsulating Nodi’s roots and its commitment to fostering connections.

As Nodi plants its flag in Shanghai, it does so with the ambition of being more than just a coffee shop. It is a haven for inspiration, a crucible for creativity, and a new chapter in Nodi’s journey of connecting people through the universal language of coffee.

Designed by Office AIO
Design Principal: Tim Kwan, Isabelle Sun
Design Team: Xiao Yang, Xue Zhao, Xiao Yang, Steven Tse, Yansha Qiao
Photography by Wen Studio