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Code Black Coffee
Friday 14 Jun 2013
Set in an inner-city double fronted warehouse shell, Code Black is the new roastery and headquarters of the Melbourne based Cafenatics operations. With the roasting process on full display and a strong use of raw black steel, stained OSB board and concrete, the space communicates a language of rawness and simplicity as a stripped back, masculine, almost reverential ode to the coffee bean.
Seeking to accommodate a new roasting operation, the headquarters for the administration of the existing business, and a public coffee outlet, Code Black Coffee comprises two mirror-image warehouse shells. One side houses the primary coffee roaster and coffee outlet, while the other houses the administration, operations and dispatch sections.
The transparency of operations means no area within the space has hierarchy over the other. Each space is clearly defined while sitting easily and honestly alongside the adjunct spatial programs - they lead into each other and create focus and a play on perspective. Upon entering the coffee outlet, the eye is led past the servery into the depth of the building, where as if at a religious altar, the roaster arrogantly resides.
Using dark, warm tones to mute the volume, lighting and form create drama within the building's shell. Yellow highlights punctuate the ceiling of the kitchen and office areas, and the seating fabric is patterned with a Josef Frank coffee bean illustration. The Code Black branding is expressed in the choice of materials, and in the hue of the black colour base. The strong use of raw black steel creates a language of masculinity, rawness and simplicity.
Using the client brief as a starting point, the project underwent many permutations prior to and during construction. The design team continually pushed the client to define project requirements, whilst the client pushed the design team to deliver a personal and singular vision that was difficult to quantify.
Working as a tight client, builder and design team, the project is an example of the success of continued communication throughout the building process, as well as a depth of understanding of the client requirements by both design team and the builder.
The final built form is a project that is designed, crafted and executed beyond what the client imagined.