In Prague’s developing area of Karlín, Czech studio KOGAA has recently completed GROUNDS, an industrial coffee hub with an interior built with 80% construction waste from a previously dismantled project. Designed and built in collaboration with the local coffee community, GROUNDS serves as both a neighborhood café as well as a showroom and educational platform for baristas and coffee experts. The architects inserted an elevated loop of potted plants, which help soften the industrial look of the café. The plants pull double-duty, too, by purifying the air and maintaining balance in the levels of humidity needed for processing coffee.

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orange and corrugated metal coffee bar with plant-covered loft area above

Commissioned by coffee producer Rene Kralovič of Rusty Nails Coffee Roasters, GROUNDS was founded to introduce the public to a coffee roastery and provide a community gathering space for baristas and coffee experts. The coffee hub includes all aspects of coffee production, from storage for raw beans to areas for roasting, cleaning and packaging of the beans.

Related: This dad built a backyard coffee shop with repurposed materials

rounded gray sofa and wood chair in an office
white room with lofted area covered in plants above

The area closest to the entrance is used for sales, while the enclosed central space serves as both a showroom for professional barista machines and a multipurpose area for barista competitions and workshops. A suspended, tangerine-colored metal staircase leads to an elevated office wrapped in a corrugated plastic wall and topped with a large skylight. A ring of potted plants surrounds this office space.

skylight in white room with orange accents
large coffee roasting machine in white room

As part of KOGAA’s commitment to reducing construction waste across the Czech Republic, the project is primarily built with upcycled and low-cost materials. The suspended industrial lamps, for example, were sourced from an inactive weapons factory and repainted a bright orange. Furnishings, including the concrete coffee tables, wooden bench and vertical merchandise wall, were handmade onsite. To strengthen GROUNDS’ industrial aesthetic, the front coffee bar was built of uncoated, corrugated metal sheets and matches the look of the corrugated plastic wall surrounding the office space above.


Photography by Alex Shoots Buildings via KOGAA