PIA Award for Architecture, Category Winner: Commercial/Brand Related Architecture
Foghound Interactive Coffee Company is concerned with providing a personalized product and unique flavour to the user. The brief was to design a Coffee shop and Coffee Machine showroom that would portray a similar unique and delightful experience. It was achieved through the use of shipping containers as an exciting building material, which also resonates with the company’s sustainability policies.
The site, an existing office/ warehouse typology in Midrand, opposite Gallagher Estate Convention Centre, is a small parcel of land on Richards Road. The building was placed on the street edge to create a public interface with a somehow neglected sub-urban environment. To the opposite side of the street façade a courtyard is formed through the vertical stacking and placing of containers.
The containers are placed in such a manner that the cutting up and alterations of containers are minimalized. The two containers that form the showroom on the first floor are placed and cantilevered from the ground floor containers to form the coffee shop below. Clerestory windows allow natural light between the two first storey containers, and acts as a space filler between containers.
A highly insulated wall panel system of 80mm thick spray-in polyurethane foam avoids summer overheating and winter heat loss. A solar hot water heating system is carefully integrated with upright placed container that forms the service module of the building.
Finally the finishing of the interior of the building is effortless so that the container structure is perceived as being the hero. However, the material palette was carefully chosen to create an ambiance which accentuates the functionality of the two different spaces. A reclaimed timber ceiling and the raw concrete floors of the coffee shop spaces enhance the aromatic, handcrafted coffee. A more simple linear finish for the first floor coffee machine show room and offices emphasizes the stream-line technology.
The beautiful water colour logos are utilized both for the purpose of branding and as art works in the space. The authenticity of the containers were kept by leaving them unpainted, with the branding only stenciled on where required.