VAV Architects have designed a coffee shop in Blackrock Village, County Dublin within several constraints; budgetary, minimal preordained space, limited construction alteration and limited modification possibilities.
“The concept for the design was to explore and question materiality, test the qualities of everyday materials and techniques available, while at the same time creating something unique and totally distinctive.” says VAV Architects. “The chosen material we selected for exploration purposes was reinforcement steel.”
“Our intent was to fill the space with vertical lines, and thus gently fragment the space, filtering the views and people within it. This forest of steel would, we hoped, create a brutal yet honest space. The finished cafe would be perceived through the filtered vertical lines of the reinforcement bars, with shelving and benches hidden and supported within them.”
“With steel dominating the interior, all other elements would simply act as a backdrop. Thus the original interior was stripped back to the core. Ceiling was totally exposed, walls were treated minimally, while existing tiles were roughly pulled off, leaving gridded screed surfaces.”
“The floor was roughly laid with recycled timber, interlaid with steel rods, where the verticals connected with the ground. This timber flooring softened the space and hid the supports of the shelving units, with the reinforcement bars piercing through it to the hidden supports below. These two new elements – horizontal lines of timber and vertical of steel, intersected each other, gridding the interior.”