The New Zealand Coffee Company. 164 Khyber Pass, Grafton, Auckland

For this project we were presented with a multi-faceted brief to ‘gently’ convert an existing, 600 sqm two storey light industrial workshop in to a coffee roastery, a café, a coffee machine workshop and office. ‘Gently’ because we wanted to ensure that the end product retained as much as possible of the workshop patina that had built up of the decades of use. The original structure was raw and therefore interesting, but pragmatically also required significant repair and seismic strengthening.

The result is in many areas, a deliberately light touch. The existing steel and block construction is left, the necessary additional steel bracing expressed, floors complete with painted markings were sealed and left and timber trusses exposed. Existing elements; workshop doors, gantry cranes, and distribution boards etc are repurposed and additional ‘found’ hero items, such as a 150 year old NZ Railways work bench from the west coast, sourced to further enrich the environment. A mix of new and salvaged steel joinery doors and partitions were introduced to reinforce the industrial aesthetic and to provide a high level of visual transparency through to the onsite working roastery. The new roasting equipment is proudly presented and the afterburner is heralded on an elevated platform fixed off the exterior of the building.

The complexities of this project were many, though so too are the rewards of the successful conversion and reuse in the quickly developing Khyber Pass locality.