“Tiled cloud” for local street-food canteen in Saudi Arabia

Bofia_The Tiled Cloud is an updated design to the typically unapologetic, blunt, and straightforward style of the common “Bofia”, a term coined in Saudi Arabia for the local canteens famous for serving quick, local, and reasonably priced street food.

The Tiled cloud is Azaz Architect’s take on finding architectural solutions and material identities for modern-day upscale Bofia.


Bofias are a well-integrated street food typology in Saudi Arabia. So famous, this cafeteria-style restaurant can be almost always nearby anywhere in the country. This has made Bofias an integral part of the local food identity. However, Bofias have been left out of the flourishment of the industry in Saudi Arabia. For Azaz Architects, Bofia_The Tiled Cloud is an architectural fantasy turned into reality.

Bofia_The Tiled Cloud is located in Riyadh within its own building with the ordinary architecture of sorts, made of simple geometry and straight lines. In contrast, the project was developed around the idea of building a floating mass that creates a smooth transition between the areas inside the space and the exterior with its sharp angles. The interior mass is imagined as a cloud that floats within the space to seamlessly separate and lift the busy back of the house from the front of house areas.

The public areas are allocated outside of the cloud and within a distance to allow visitors to appreciate the architectural geometry created. White tiles are creating the main canvas of the space contrasted with silver metallic aluminum foam. Complemented with a strike of light flying through the space to add a pop of color to the white-tiled Bofia. Through smart light programming, the design offers different story-telling to the space during daytime and nighttime. The use of white and light colors gives a sense of airiness and high natural light reflectivity. The same white tiles have a visual Interestingly, visitor and observer opinions have been evenly split on whether the design is considered minimalist or maximalist.

Images by Mansor Alsofi via ArchDaily

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