In 2023, flexibility with new projects using old materials and techniques is a resourceful ability. With it, people can produce some of the most interesting projects. Adaptive reuse in architecture and design is a technique that the modern age is trying to normalize and for good reason. This concept not only is a sustainable and cost-effective alternative to building new structures. It also allows for more creativity that preserves the old structure for future generations.

In Malaysia, international award-winning interior design and architecture firm Spacemen Studio collaborated with Coach Airways to repurpose a Boeing 747 jumbo jet and turn it into a cafe and store.

A sketch of the Boeing 747 jumbo jet revamped interior.
Coach Airways Cafe and Store is an experiential store that creatively executes the project through adaptive reuse.
Coach Airways Cafe and Store is an experiential store that creatively executes the project through adaptive reuse.
The entire revamped plane has a symmetry and color palette reminiscent of a Wes Anderson movie set.

Bright and Inviting

The aircraft has four experiential cabins. In all, the designs pay homage to the golden era of air travel in the 1970s. Throughout, visitors can see elements of retro-futurism, design cues, and a color palette that recalls the bright and colorful vibes of a Wes Anderson movie set.

The First Class Cabin

The First Class Cabin is a great first impression to visitors with its bright interiors.

Upon entering, visitors see the two-seater faux pilot cockpit accompanied by 12 retro passenger seats. Here, guests can have a front-seat fantasy experience of commanding a plane while still enjoying first-class service. The gridded glass flooring has warm lighting and membrane ceiling lights bring a sleek aesthetic flair that brings a balance between the old and new. Farther in, the second and third cabins are thoughtfully curated retail spaces with curved cabin walls painted in pastel colors.

Coffee and treats await the visitors at the Coach Airways Cafe.

The Fourth Cabin

The heart of the aircraft, the Fourth Cabin houses the enchanting Coach Airways Cafe. Drenched in full orange, the Fourth Cabin invites passengers to indulge in delectable treats and unwind in an ambiance reminiscent of the old times.

This venture is an experience that highlights the beauty of design and the magic of aviation.

All in all, the Coach Airways Store and Cafe in Malaysia is a time machine bringing people back to the past through creative reuse.

RELATED READ: Adaptive Reuse: Converting Public Spaces into Homes

Photos by David Yeow

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