ido & Friends Café Kunming City, China, Yunnan Province cafe design, Chinese architecture development images

ido & Friends Café in Kunming City

26 October 2023

Architecture: Aurora Design

Location: Kunming, Yunnan, China

ido & Friends Café, Kunming, China

Photos by Na Xin from INSPACE

ido & Friends Café, China

The late 19th to mid-20th century saw the rise of the modernist wave in Europe. From urban streets to rural hamlets, from coastal islands to private homes and public cafes, well-known artistic hubs and meeting places ignited the creativity of countless artists. ‘Open’ and ‘friendly’ were the key features of European coffeehouses during that time.

In 1919, Walter Gropius initiated the “Bauhaus Manifesto,” declaring the abolishment of distinctions between craftsmen and artists, erasing the boundaries of disciplines, and envisioning and creating the future of architecture with an open and integrated approach.

In 2023, ido & Friends Café emerged on the streets of Kunming, Yunnan. Just like its brand name, “ido & Friends,” the brand’s owner envisions this space to be more than just a café with diverse coffee offerings from different origins and flavors. It’s also intended to be a meeting place where people from various fields can gather, chat, and engage in conversations. This open and inclusive brand philosophy is reminiscent of the ideals of modernism, much like the Bauhaus movement.

The open and inclusive attitude is evident from the exterior design of the building. The glass façade connects the street to the interior space, and the recessed side doors create a corner space. This corner space can serve as an outdoor coffee seating area and a resting spot for passersby.

ido & Friends Café, Kunming, China

Low wooden bench are arranged along the glass wall, providing seating for multiple individuals. This arrangement along the glass wall leaves ample space for a walkway. The customized coffee tables serves as contrasting elements to the bench, with hollow circular patterns on the tables echoing the chairs across from them. At the same time, they adds a touch of vertical variation to the bench.

On one side of the space, there is a display cabinet made from the same type of wood. It’s a three-tiered wooden display case that can hold various items such as coffee cups, magazines, and audio equipment. The metal sliding mechanism makes it easy and convenient for both customers and baristas to retrieve items.

The books and magazines placed on the cabinet create a tranquil corner for visitors, offering a mental retreat within the coffee-scented space. Here, one can discover a good book and escape into another beautiful world.

The glass brick wall gently divides the space. On the outer side, there’s an area for guests to savor specialty coffee, while on the inner side, there’s a workspace for digital nomads. The designer’s intention is for people to not only enjoy delicious coffee at ido&Friends but also embark on a creative journey together, inspiring countless individuals through friendly interactions.

ido & Friends Café, Kunming, China

In addition to the horizontal glass brick wall for functional zoning, the designer also elevated the entire office space vertically as a method of dividing the areas.

The combination of stone steps and the glass brick wall delineates a relatively private office space while remaining open to visiting guests. The minimalist linear desk lamp provides uniform lighting that is both calm and warm. The horizontal and vertical pipelines, along with bookshelves and glass bricks, create a visual harmony in the space.

Adjacent to the glass brick wall, there is a closed cabinet surface that serves as storage for everyday items. Another part features an open bookshelf, with a simple frame that can accommodate various materials. It can hold daily office documents and also serve as a printing and copying station.

In addition to incorporating multifunctional spaces, the designer also aimed to embody the Bauhaus spirit in design techniques and styles, fostering collaboration across different fields.

The color scheme of the space is intentionally limited, primarily featuring neutral colors such as coffee, black, and white. This choice of colors reflects the principles of simplicity and geometry while emphasizing the purity of color.

ido & Friends Café, Kunming, China

The varying shades of coffee-colored wooden boards interlock with each other, akin to the emphasis on flat surfaces in Bauhaus design. The self-designed chairs draw inspiration from the letter “A” in the Bauhaus font, featuring distinct geometric shapes that highlight geometric composition and form.

Selecting a leisurely afternoon, within the sun-kissed ambiance of the café, indulging in sipping coffee and daydreaming, or working quietly, offers a passage for your thoughts to traverse back to the mid-20th century. You can transport yourself to cities like Paris, Venice, and Barcelona, where artists congregated, engaged in lively debates, and delved into each other’s works, all while contemplating the world both near and far.

ido & Friends Café in Kunming City, China – Building Information

Project Name: ido & Friends Café
Project Location: Kunming, Yunnan, China
Project Area: 70㎡
Design company: Aurora Design –

Chief Designer: Yang Xuewan
Design Time: 2022.03
Completion Time: 2023.06
Construction Team: Rebuilding Space Lab

Aurora Design Office

Yang Xuewan
Founder of Aurora Design

Awards: 2020 Chinese Design Elites Top 12, Andrew Martin Annual Recommended Designer, 2022 Bauhaus Design Award, 2022 GFDAWARDS Global Future Award, etc.

Aurora Design is a high-end interior design firm that focuses on space design. It is committed to creating empathetic and aesthetic spaces for consumers, which interprets the current consumption trends.

Adhering to the design philosophy of “creating fantasy and beauty,” Aurora Design has provided comprehensive and ultimate design consulting services for elite clients in various fields such as custom wedding photography spaces, commercial retail shops, independent/chain restaurants, exhibition spaces, high-end residences, and art installations. Through years of brand services and project implementation, Aurora Design has reinterpreted the inherent brand business model, offering clients a fresh perspective on design.

ido & Friends Café, Kunming, China

Photography: Naxin from INSPACE

ido & Friends Café, Kunming City China images / information received 261023 from Aurora Design

Location:Kunming, China

Yunnan Architecture Designs

Villafound Jade Hotel Lijiang Lodge
Architect: Nie Jianping
Villafound Jade Hotel Lijiang Lodge, Yunnan
photograph : Chen Weizhong © Nie Jianping
Villafound Jade Hotel Lijiang Lodge in Yunnan

Pu Zao Restaurant, Tongde Plaza, Kunming
Architect: Yiduan Shanghai Interior Design
Pu Zao Restaurant
photograph : Xu Xu-Juns
Pu Zao Restaurant in Yunnan

Museum of Handcraft Paper, Gaoligong, Yunnan Province, China
Design: Trace Architecture Office
Museum of Handcraft Paper China
photo : AKAA
Museum of Handcraft Paper Yunnan Building

Chinese Architecture

Contemporary Architecture in China

China Architecture Design – chronological list

Chinese Architect – Design Practice Listings

Beijing Architecture Walking Tours

Chinese Architecture

Chinese Architects

Jilin Financial Centre Commercial Complex, Jilin Province
Architects: Aedas
Jilin Financial Centre Commercial Complex Building

Industrial Service Centre in Jinwan Aviation City, Zhuhai
Architects: 10 DESIGN
Jinwan Aviation City Industrial Service Centre Zhuhai building design
image courtesy of architects office
Industrial Service Centre in Jinwan Aviation City

Sanya Block 5, Hainan Province, Southern China
NL Architects
Sanya Block 5

China Southern Airport City , Guangzhou
Woods Bagot
China Southern Airport City Guangzhou

Chinese Buildings

Comments / photos for the ido & Friends Café, Kunming City building design by Aurora Design page welcome.