It all started with the idea of extending the original bookstore, enhancing the aspect and attracting the younger public, a place where you can socialize and develop a cultural community. The bookstore originally was functioning on the 20% of the surface and the main customers where over 60 years old.

Project location: Cluj-Napoca, Romania
Studio Name: Most Wanted Design

Refo Cafe by Most Wanted Design - Sheet2
ⒸKiss Gábor

Since this is a historical building, had several renovations and transformations, last time it was renovated/transformed in the 1970’s. The whole space available was two separate rooms with high ceiling so we decided to  unify the spaces.

Our aim was to create a friendly, natural, puritan, long lasting design which attracts younger people all based on the values the Christian Protestant (Reformed) Church.

When we started the implementation of the project, during the demolitions we find out that there is a concrete beam on the floor, we could not remove. This  concluded that we had to adapt the design to the given situation.

We had to make a floorplan with toilets included, which meets the criteria provided by the authorities. Since it will work as coffee shop also it is required to have toilets which met all necessary regulatory requirements.

Refo Cafe by Most Wanted Design - Sheet5
ⒸKiss Gábor

Both we and the beneficiary had high expectations for this space and the result exceeded expectations.

As a core element, we used a seamless pattern which you can find in several places in the building. The bookstore and coffee shop works individually as well. The main area of the Bookstore has a custom made modular display system and the accent color for this area we picked a simple green. This green color and natural oak veneer goes trough in all bookstore. The shelves are modular also, with some predefined elements. It can be re arranged as necessary. The shelves are angled towards the viewer, smaller pieces have wheels, to be able to move. Since the bookstore does not have a warehouse to store books, we had to make plenty space for extra storage. There are some seating in this area which provides extra storage space and provides seating for those intending to read before buy.

The bookstore and the café are in one space, and are linked by both form and function. We used the same elements, materials and textures but instead of green we used blue as paint color in furnishing. All the forms are simple. The lightning of the space has an industrial feel. The metallic structures provide with a contemporary touch. On the large boxes hanging from the ceiling we engraved the main messages of the Reformed Religion.

Refo Cafe by Most Wanted Design - Sheet9
ⒸKiss Gábor

The space is dominated by natural materials, neutral or simple colors, sophistication is found in every detail. It is a space where we put great emphasis on functionality and modularity with a classic aesthetics that never goes out of style.


Rethinking The Future (RTF) is a Global Platform for Architecture and Design. RTF through more than 100 countries around the world provides an interactive platform of highest standard acknowledging the projects among creative and influential industry professionals.