United Arab Emirates-based design studio Bone Architecture has recently completed its latest hospitality project: Café Terra, a courtyard-inspired eatery filled with plants in Dubai. Crafted as an urban oasis, Café Terra provides respite from both the heat and the bustle of the city. Natural materials, handmade goods and a monochromatic palette inspired by nature give Café Terra its welcoming and earthy atmosphere.
Completed in November 2020 near a major intersection about 1.5 miles from the Arabian Gulf, Café Terra was carefully crafted to shelter visitors from the busy streets. The east-facing shop welcomes guests with 5-meter-tall pivoting glass doors that swing open to reveal a light-filled interior of 200 square meters enveloped by lush greenery. The interior dining space extends to a 100-square-meter outdoor terrace also framed with plants. Full-height glazing fills the café with natural light that highlights the varied textures of the interior’s many handcrafted elements, from the hand-hammered column at the heart of the space to the uneven surfaces of the terracotta tiles.
“With a strong desire to blend architecture and craftsmanship, Bone worked alongside several talented specialists that helped compose the space,” the architects explained in a project statement. “The raw earth surfaces emulate different colors that are natural and pigment free. Clays from different parts of Italy have been sourced by Matteo Brioni, who developed the traditional raw earth surface finish that is healthy, hypoallergenic, versatile, and sinuously adaptable to any surface. Matteo’s brothers, who own Fornace Brioni, have also collaborated with Bone to compose the terracotta floor tiles that grace the space with their imperfections and artisanal craft.”
Warm, natural materials temper the minimalist and modern design of the café, from the reclaimed and weathered wooden surfaces to the linen fabrics and handmade ceramics used for dining. A pair of raw earth walls frame a glimpse into the custom kitchen that can be seen from the dining area.
Photography by OMAR AL GURG and OCULIS PROJECT via Bone Architecture