Inspired by rice fields – Expat Roasters

Launched by Expat Roasters, whom are residents of Ubud, Bali, they work closely and respectfully with Balinese farmers and producers to source finest local product to compliment their nomadic collections of beans around the globe.
The brief for Sydney based interior architects X+O the new bar and restaurant was to bring to life the EXPAT Roasters brand, with an Ubud feel. Coffee had to be at the centre of the design and the heart of the experience. The space needed to accomodate and invite groups of 1 or two to large groups, both inside and out. The space needed to transform from day to night.
The solution was – inspired by the refined precision of the founding brand EXPAT.Roasters, combined with the relaxed atmosphere and locality of Ubud, Bali. The interior and exterior was inspired by elements that Ubud is known for such as the rice fields, monkey forest and it’s casual vibe, also known for its yoga culture. This was translated into the architecture and materiality.

The Architecture of the space designed to create zones and accommodate for various customer types. Zones were created with level changes inspired by the local undulating rice fields. The multiple level changes in the interior feature steps up and steps down to create different zones and seating arrangements. Tiered seating, dubbed ‘rice field’ seating in the interior, looks down onto the central brew bar which is lined with fixed tables, cushions and locally produced sisal rugs, designed for groups of two. The elevated whiskey bar upstairs, looks down over the brew bar. Exterior communal style seating often referred to as ‘dry jacuzzi’ seating includes step seating inside and outside.

The focus of the space, placed right at the centre, was the central espresso bar. the canopy overhead inspired by the monkey forest canopy. This is further accentuated by one of the key features of the space- a mural of the monkey forest hi-lighting local flora and fauna and of course coffee beans, telling the Expat. Roasters coffee story. The mural is hand painted onto a tiled wall, by artist Tazroc. At the brew bar, the most sophisticated coffee making equipment is on show to educate and inspire. Seating for individuals at the bar or groups in the adjacent booths allows all groups large or small to engage with the coffee making that Expat is famous for.

The rounded ‘full circle’ logo, with its hugging hands also inspires the architecture and furniture. The ceiling features rounded white arches, and much of the furniture is rounded, including stools and chairs to banquette seats- all hugging customers as they experience the space.
Adjacent to the central espresso bar, are private concrete booths designed for groups. They play on the brand through the precision and angular structure of the seating. The use of concrete accentuates this with a teak lining, sourced locally. Terazzo flooring is incorporated in various zones and is re-imagined through slabs of local stone and smaller white stone on a black background, mimicking rice grains.

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