© Mur Mur Lab / Photography: WDi

although traditionally both a tea consuming and producing nation, the coffee craze has gotten its grip on China, and understandably, given the enormous consumer market, the hospitality branch has anticipated with a bewildering expansion of coffee parlours in the country’s first-tier cities. One of the local players is Chinese coffee brand Youxin which operates a rapidly expanding chain of coffee shops across Shanghai. Founded in 2015, the chain is called UNIBROWN and sees not only design-led, venues at top corporate business locations, but it also infused with nifty hi-tech and services, such as providing a space for meetings, social activities and even a printing and copying service. As of late, UNIBROWN also operates a branch at Infinity Tower, a soaring skyscraper in the city’s Jing’an district and one of the world’s tallest structures. The café is situated in the voluminous ground floor lobby, occupying a 60 sqm. (646 sq.ft.) booth designed by Shanghai-based architecture Mur Mur Lab. The booth’s aesthetic is inspired by nature and landscapes, and an abstracted reflection of rolling hills by way of sloped corners and a filigrain canopy mimicking clouds. Predominantly white, the setting is offset by light timber flooring and paneling. Upon entering the UNIBROWN booth, guests can either pick a table for two, a communal bench or the trapezoid corner section to enjoy their coffee concoction of choice. All the while, they’ll be sitting below a myriad of delicate lightbulbs which mimic a starry sky. The new outpost offers a wide selection of coffee options, and although the booth is too small to offer the chain’s usual nifty extras, it makes up with its highly evocative setting.

UNIBROWN
Infinity Tower, 168 Hubin Lu, Ground Floor (Jing’an)
200021 Shanghai

© Mur Mur Lab / Photography: WDi