Imagine a café, a reading room, a bookstore and a coffee roasting company all located in a refurbished former milk bar. The idea to create a place that would meet various needs of book lovers and coffee enthusiasts was a consequence of bringing together owners’ professional passion (for books) and memories of exotic (African) childhood. The space is divided into three zones that clearly illustrate this multifunctional concept.
Project Name: Coffee house and bookshop Kahawa
Studio Name: Atelier Starzak Strebicki
Location: Poznań, Poland
Photography: Mateusz Bieniaszczyk
The first zone – right at the front, crowned with a high concrete ceiling – includes a bar, a café and a bookstore mounted on the podium. Light wooden barstools lining up against a long window sill, comfortable armchairs – revamped iconic Models 366 by Józef Chierowski – paired with low coffee tables, and soft pillows thrown on the stairs of the wooden podium – all define possible modes of using this space – in passing, for a while or quite a while.
The second zone – located at the back and equipped with a large wooden table surrounded with upholstered chairs is dedicated both to collective feasting and working together during workshops. The entrance to this part of Kahawa is inscribed on the floor.
You can feel it with your feet when the original terrazzo (only occasionally patched up with new fragments) gives way to original teak floor (again – only where necessary supplemented by new ash wood planks).
The third zone spreads behind a glass wall that enables guests sitting behind the table to peek into Kahawa’s heart, where the coffee is roasted and packed. The black shiny roasting machine is set against the white walls unashamedly revealing their brick structure. This tendency to uncover original layers and textures, to preserve what is the most beautiful in geometry of walls and floors informs the general idea of the project. Frugal and unobtrusive tones, natural materials and lots of light constitute a frame for the truly live colours that are brought by potted plants, books and their coffee-loving readers.