Alien Tanuki’s Space Capsule Café Is Out of This World


The Alien Tanuki’s Space Capsule café has debuted in the To Kwa Wan neighborhood of Hong Kong. As the bridge between a newly completed urban development and one of the city’s older neighborhoods, the space, crafted by locally based design studio Absence from Island, is a pure white capsule envisioned to stir imaginations and provide respite. Perhaps, most importantly, Alien Tanuki also serves as a playground for the eponymous fantasy creatures—“yellow raccoons from outer space”—that occupy the café via 3D printing.

“We want the guests to feel the café is neither on the new development or an old neighborhood side, but somehow in a fictional world,” explains Absence from Island founder Chi Chun Tang. “Therefore, we got inspired from the Japanese Tanuki, which are seen as supernatural animals in Japanese myths. We got inspired from them to create a tanuki’s space capsule.”

An open storefront bonds the sidewalks with the forum-style interior that evokes a laidback sensibility. Curved white bricks shape the coffee bar and seating area beneath funnel skylights that softly diffuse a tranquil ambiance. White textured paint also adorns the ceilings, while light blue hues contrast the palette on the floors and walls to compose a minimalist-yet-futuristic aesthetic.

“The openness and the eye-catching ceiling design make this café become a landmark and well known by the surrounding community,” Tang adds. “People in other districts also come to the space to visit the unique environment.”

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