Al Rawi

An innovative café and retail space with a library theme

The brief was to create an innovative café concept that reflects Sharjah’s status as a cultural and literary hub for the UAE, in prominent site on Sharjah corniche with sweeping views over water. The central narrative is a library-theme café and retail space, where people come to socialise in groups, spend time as a family, and also visit alone to read, study and work.

The design is inspired by the concept of binding the pages of a books with string along the spine. The handrail on the staircase is based on this string, while the space dividers between zones (social eating; children’s play area; quite zones for reading etc) are created using criss-crossed string.

The idea of nourishing the mind and the soul is reflected in the healthy, organic food menu.