The home of architecture and design in Asia-Pacific

Get the latest design news direct to your inbox!

Jewel Café + Bar

A café and bar at Singapore’s Rangoon Road takes its reference from its locale’s rough and tumble character writes Rachel Lee-Leong.

Jewel Café + Bar


June 17th, 2013

There is a growing number of cafés and eateries in Singapore that are choosing to root themselves in areas that have not succumbed to gentrification. Jewel Café + Bar is one such example, having recently set up shop in Rangoon Road.

Jewel Cafe + Bar

Designed by multidisciplinary design studio FARM, the Café + Bar stands where an old coffee shop once stood. “It was empty when we found it, and it was bare but clean – not much character, but not bad either,” says designer Peter Sim. In short, the space was decent, but not inspiring, and needed a good injection of character.

Jewel Cafe + Bar

The owner of Jewel Café + Bar envisioned it as a space that was unpretentious – “somewhere you could spend a lazy Sunday afternoon with a group of friends”. Naturally, the humble surrounds of the neighbourhood offered some hints about the design direction.

Jewel Cafe + Bar

“We drew reference from the quirky character of the area, and the name of the café, and interpreted the brief as that of placing a shiny jewel amongst the rough and tumble that is Rangoon Road,” says Sim. “We wanted it to be a design of contrasts.”

“We stripped the space down to its bare, rough concrete bones to create an edgy and industrial feel that echoes the nature of the building and the street.”

Jewel Cafe + Bar

The raw elements of the space is contrasted with more refined jewel-like details – crystal light bulbs, glass doors, teakwood paneling, brass and copper ceiling fixtures – that come together to bring just the right amount of elegance to the space.

Jewel Cafe + Bar

Sim shares that the design process had its fair share of constraints and challenges. The original beams and columns did not seem to follow a clear structure, but punctuated the space at unexpected points. “We decided it’d be pointless to try to hide these and finally accepted these as part of the quirky nature of the building.” One supposes that it is all quite befitting a neighbourhood defined by haphazardness of the charming sort.


Check out FARM’s latest residential project on the cover of Issue 62 of Cubes Indesign, out on newsstands now!

INDESIGN is on instagram

Follow @indesignlive

The Indesign Collection

A searchable and comprehensive guide for specifying leading products and their suppliers

Indesign Our Partners

Keep up to date with the latest and greatest from our industry BFF's!

Related Stories

While you were sleeping

The internet never sleeps! Here's the stuff you might have missed