NZ cafe wins best design in the world

A New Zealand cafe once destroyed in a fire has beat international competitors to be named the best designed coffee shop in the world.

London-based design website Design Curial considered 4000 cafes from New York to Tokyo before landing on Mount Ruapehu perched The Knoll Ridge Cafe.

Well-executed symbiosis between a stunning location and architectural design pushed Knoll Ridge ahead of the likes of Italy’s feline friendly Romeow Cat Bistrot – home to six cats – and Australian cafe Jury, created from a former prison.

Knoll Ridge Cafe

The Knoll Ridge’s architect, Grant Harris, says despite the tragedy, the fire created a once-in-a-lifetime design opportunity. His goal was not to replicate or replace, but to produce something worthy of the “mythical area”.

“I had to consider the logistical concerns of an alpine cafe and how it deals with snow while staying sensitive to the site. It became a matter of throwing all of these concerns into a mixing pot and seeing what comes out.”

Katherine Houston, web editor at Design Curial says the competition’s aim was to recognise local favourites at an international level.

“Simply by drawing attention to these cafes, our aim is to put some destinations on the map for travellers across the globe… we believe we have chosen a successful set of striking cafes from around the world.”

Other cafes in the top ten include Ukraine’s The Cake, which features a giant pink dog, Japan’s Mirrors in Gifu that reflects outside Cherry Blossom trees and Salvaged Ring Café in Vietnam, created from salvaged wood.

The Knoll Ridge Cafe is currently closed after the summer season but will re-open in 6 to 8 weeks.

Top ten best designed cafes in the world chosen by Design Curial

1. Knoll Ridge Cafe, Mt Ruapehu, New Zealand
2. Mirrors, Gifu, Japan
3. Romeow Cat Bistrot, Rome, Italy
4. Jury Cafe, Victoria, Australia
5. Dreamy Camera Cafe, South Korea
6. The Cake, Kiev, Ukraine
7. East Beach Cafe, West Sussex, UK
8. Cafe Ki, Tokyo, Japan
9. Salvaged Ring Cafe, Nha Trang city, Vietnam
10. Topolski, Waterloo, London