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While most ice cream stores tend to be bright and cheery, Nanas Design decided to take a different route when creating The Ice Cream Bar in Kampong Bahru, Singapore. Known for their ability to perfectly reflect the needs and personalities of their clients, while still balancing aesthetic with practicality, the team managed to create a cool vibe that never feels cold.
Determined to build a space that visitors could chill out in, they came up with several personas of customers before starting on the design: people coming in for a quick sugar fix, girlfriends meeting up for an afternoon coffee catch-up, families and friends enjoying an evening out and customers seeking an oasis where they could work on their laptops while enjoying their desserts.
With these personas in mind, the team set out to create different cosy nooks throughout the store that would perfectly fit the needs of potential customers. From comfortable benches you can sit in for hours; tables that are the perfect height for laptops and working; to counter seats that are great for a quick grab and dash, they have it all.
“Before we start any project, the first thing we do is put ourselves in our clients shoes and see through their lens. It’s the best way to ensure you are creating an environment that not only fulfils their vision but exceeds it,” explains Saki Funayama, Chief Designer of Nanas Design. “It’s up to us to understand what goals they would like to achieve, and then create something that goes above and beyond what they imagined.”
Despite its functionality, The Ice Cream Bar looks entirely unique. Inspired by the historical Straits-Chinese neighbourhood and old world charm of the area, Nanas Designs decided to go for a rich, warm atmosphere with art deco interiors. Think quaint customised brass floors, gorgeous arched decor and a transitional chevron floor.
“We made these design choices because we wanted customers to feel the heritage of the area and appreciate the beauty of ageing,” says Saki. “Brass tends to get tarnished and scratched with use, but this just highlights the character of the space, and that just makes the interiors even more beautiful.”
And as the piece de resistance, the team smartly sprinkled the brand’s logo throughout the store in various different mediums to pull the entire project together in a sophisticated yet understated way. To be sure, this ice cream bar is one cool cat.