This coffee shop is squeezed into an ultra-narrow space in Curitiba, Brazil, with a simple counter inside for serving takeaway beverages and snacks.
Sandwiched between shops in the centre of the southern Brazilian city, The Coffee measures just 32 square feet (three square metres).
Local firm Boscardin Corsi Studio overhauled the tiny space, after noticing the potential of the under-utilised slither of property.
“A small service door, formerly unused by the restaurant next door, seemed to have no grace at all,” said founders Ana Carolina Boscardin and Edgard Corsi. “Instead, we saw it as an opportunity and turned into a business.”
The coffee shop is signalled by an illuminated white cube, which overhangs the doorway to provide shelter from the city’s common rain showers for customers ordering.
On the side is the Japanese translation for coffee, aligning with the shop’s minimalist look, which takes cues from the country’s design aesthetic.
The Coffee strictly serves to-go food and beverages, and utilises the sidewalk for extra space. Customers queue outside, and can sit on a public bench nearby to enjoy their brews.
“Amid the turmoil of today’s world and day-to-day running, where time is money and caffeine is needed to restore energies, nothing is more important than a takeaway-style coffee,” the studio said.
For the exterior, the shop is clad in vertical, black metal strips that amplify its narrow design.
Inside, this striped design is duplicated but with light wood to soften the appearance of the quaint space. “The slatted light wood plays with the light,” said the studio.
The project makes cues to Japanese simplicity and minimalism to make the most of 1-room shoppe. Black walls, black subway tiles and wood built-in cabinets complete the interiors.
The biggest challenge for the architects was arranging the internal area, who opted for an empty core with the employee working in a circular way, around the site’s perimeter.
Placed directly at the front entrance is a storage cabinet for ordering and displaying treats.
An L-shaped counter is designed for the rear and accommodates a coffee-maker on one side and a sink next to it. Storage and a rubbage bin are housed underneath.
“The espresso machine needed to be positioned [not at the front] so that the barista is always on the customer’s side, and never showing his back,” Boscardin Corsi said.
Black bi-fold doors close the shop off, completely hiding the space outside business hours.
But when the cafe is open, the brick sidewalk directly meets the counter, leaving the interiors fully exposed.
Curitiba is located in the state of Paraná, southeast of São Paulo. Other recently completed projects in the city include a light-filled architecture office for local firm Solo Arquitetos, and a renovated apartment with marble and black elements by Belotto Scopel Tanaka.
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