Square Mile Coffee
A new headquarters to include roastery, production, offices and meeting rooms
Status: Completed June 2019
Category: Workplace; Interiors
In amongst a North London industrial estate an unassuming warehouse unit contains the new headquarters and roastery for Square Mile Coffee Roasters.
Kirkwood McCarthy were approached with an empty 880m² warehouse space and a brief to keep the ground floor as clear as possible.
A clear functional diagram developed from this initial brief: The volume of the existing industrial shell would be offset in plan and section to achieve a sealed secondary structure. This created a mezzanine workspace for the main office, meeting rooms, training, and kitchen and a partially sealed undercroft for packaging. The roastery occupies the final bays of the original warehouse, and is central to the space plan so that it is the central focus and feature of the entire warehouse space.
Influenced by the clients’ iconic black branding, blackened timber cladding was applied to the entirety of the new structure. This forms a distinct contrast between the outer and inner structures, and the functions they house.
The new mezzanine structure increased the gross internal area to 1195m², though posed the challenge of how to create a positive work environment without direct access to natural daylight. A scattering of diffuse skylights and an iconic saw-tooth ceiling to the central walkway are supplemented with artificial light to achieve daylight effect.
Mezzanine spaces are organised along a central circulation spine that arrives to a stair landing overlooking the roastery. A symmetrical stair exists to each side, forming a ‘grand stair’ with a distinctly industrial aesthetic that is iconic to this project.
The ‘grand stair’ celebrates the coming together of roastery and workplace. From the central landing, a birds eye vantage of the impressive roasting equipment is enjoyed.
The long elevations are sub-divided into five structural bays. Each bay is inset at ground level with vertical-laid cladding to break down the expansive elevation and to accentuate the volumetrics of the structure. To each bay is cross bracing, a window portal or door. The simplicity of these elements is influenced by agricultural vernacular and barn detailing.
FORM & LIGHT
The black exterior is contrasted by an interior that focuses on form and light. The saw-tooth ceiling pitches the length of the central walkway, providing an arresting journey that undulates to break down the physical length of the space. A skylight to each pitch draws artificially supplemented natural light into the workplace.
The main office, training room and meeting room each also have windows with views to the production and roastery. Whilst these are not traditional views to an exterior, the scale of the building is such that a vista overlooking production and roasting is enjoyed.