In our current day and age, we all are searching for a unique place; a place where there is always something going on, where people can enjoy the good things in life, and where everyone is invited to have and share experiences. This place is not home or the workplace, but a kind of special ‘third place’ located somewhere between public and domestic, where everyone is welcome.
This is the idea developed by Studio Akkerhuis together with the owner of Lebkov & Sons for their new brand identity. In continuity with their existing cafés, the new location is conceived as a kitchen-living space where customers and baristas share the same table or counter designed for them to rest, enjoy a meal as well as prepare good coffee.
The bar and the open kitchen form the centerpiece that organizes and structures the entire café space. The seating areas, articulated around the central bar, are designed to create a diversity of interesting spaces throughout the different areas of the cafe. These include wooden benches next to the kitchen, a snake-like, concrete shared table along the facade, the central bar counter, and a raised platform where the barista’s concrete working tables extend over the counter and become the customer tables.
The close interaction between customer and barista is emphasized by the low glass showcase, set below eye level which offers a transparency through the space and a better visibility of the products. This ‘sharing mix’ is also represented by the Lebkov pattern- where black squares mix with light squares.
Previously realized with small tiles, the pattern has been reinvented using an innovative material- Wood-skin. This new material is made up of wooden panels with engraved patterns that give organic shapes to the covered objects. In addition, the black-and-wood cladding confers uniformity to the space and creates surprising movement in the furniture and walls. The iconic Lebkov pattern is also present – at a different scale – in the open storage; a modular steel structure where fresh products and coffee beans are displayed.
The shelves and boxes of this storage are realized by folded Wood-Skin square modules that can be freely placed into the steel frames. The wood, concrete and steel combined with a discreet lighting design radiate warmth, authenticity, and unity. The mix of materials creates a comfortable and welcoming environment- truly a special ‘third place’ for everyone to enjoy.
PROJECT Lebkov & Sons Caffé ARCHITECT Studio Akkerhuis LOCATION Amsterdam, The Netherlands YEAR 2018 PHOTO Ronald Smits Photography