It's Hip to Be Square: Science Cafe & Library by Anna Wigandt

Interior designer Anna Wigandt has created a multipurpose space where young thinkers can congregate over refreshments to share ideas and work in a conducive environment for study.  Ideologically, the Science Cafe & Library in Chişinău, Moldova draws on the legacy of post WWI Parisian cafe culture, but it's focus on science and engineering is reflected in the sleek and modern design of Wigandt.

Eschewing comfy chairs or distracting sidewalk seating, the cafe is structured around a set of modular tables designed by Wigandt and inspired by a 16th century German astronomer's cosmological theory delightfully entitled the Mysterium Cosmographicum.  The geometric desks can be used separately, or assembled into a conference table for lectures. The intent was to appeal less to the chaotic and emotional experience of a typical cafe, and more to the rational and refined vibe of a library, while maintaining the accessibility and interactiveness of a public space. 

The ceiling of the Cafe is painted midnight blue and adorned with a grand celestial chandelier, in a nod to history's star gazers.  The chevron flooring is lighter blue, and brings to mind the natural patterns of leaves or grasses. One wall features a bank of massive windows which bathe the entire space in natural light. The opposite wall is composed of a honeycomb of small cubbys, where patrons can store their belongings.  The Cafe is meant to be self service, and a long table houses food and drink in a specimen-like array of jars and square depressions in the surface. The third wall houses a bookshelf of source materials for use in the Cafe, on everything from civil and mechanical engineering, to shipbuilding and astronautics. 

The Science Cafe and Library is precise and functional, but retains a sense of ease and familiarity. Wigandt achieved this interesting balance with the clean lines and minimalism of the furniture, and the demure charm of the color scheme and lighting. The result is a beautiful and highly stimulating area that Wigandt hopes young scientific minds will love to inhabit, and possibly become home to the new technologies and inventions that enlighten our world and shape our future.

Photography courtesy of Anna Wigandt

You might also like: