in the historic center of montevideo, uruguay, captitan taller has transformed an existing space within a 20th century building to create ‘culto coffee shop.’ located on sarandí pedestrian street, the new interior design carefully retains elements of the existing structure while adding contemporary finishes, resulting in a layered architecture that strikes a perfect balance between old and new.
all images courtesy of taller capitan
when taller capitan first approached the project, the space was in a ruinous state as it had been forgotten over the years. after assessing the specific character that lay inside the corner site, the architect conceived of two concepts to guide the design: ‘elegant ruins’ and ‘the crypt’. the former refers to the notion of conserving the old and characterful walls, as well the period mosaic floor and the recovery of the original openings. the latter concept refers to the symbolic element of the coffee cult.
in contrast to the original parts of the building that have been retained, new contemporary elements have been added by taller capitan to create a fresh space. striking green walls and yellow zinc details on the furniture bring the architecture into present day. the furniture, with black chenille upholstery, was designed specifically for the project with the idea of creating a space that welcomes client interaction.
the zinc was also applied to emulate in a contemporary way the ancient bronze characteristic of the time. it was sought to generate a contrast, between what was left, the ruins, and what was imposed, the crypt and the zinc. furthering the religious notion of the crypt, the arches, which lead the way to the bathroom, have been highlighted with candles, reminding patrons of the coffee shop’s history.
project name: culto coffee shop
location: montevideo, uruguay
edited by: lynne myers | designboom
architecture in uruguay (11 articles)
bar architecture and design (41 articles)
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