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Contemporary coffee shop design, Kharkov


Kharkov-based architectural practice, Drozdov & Partners, have designed the Cafe C.A.F.E project. Completed in 2011, this contemporary coffee shop can be found in Kharkov, Ukraine and features light-weight perforated structures.

The plot is a relatively empty space located in the middle of a dense urban development. A small cafe was built on this place in the early 90s. However, recently the property was beinging to look tired and the interior design needing sprucing up.


According to the architects: “Historically, this place has always represented a gap in the urban tissue, which makes it even more valuable. Our aim was to retain this presence of emptiness, but at the same time provide it with a new content, preserving the existing building and trees. To this end we made use of the typology of ‘urban rooms’ or ‘inner courtyards’ to create a variety of miscellaneous, though interconnected spaces. The whole space is divided into three major “rooms”: the main room with a wooden terrace and a bar, with movable canopies above; a middle room with a summer kitchen and a fixed canopy, and a small “room” on the upper open-air terrace, which adjoins the cafe itself.

“Light-weight perforated structures create cozy ‘urban rooms’ without losing visual connection with the surrounding space. This duality is even more emphasized by a window in the perforated screen. A light modular frame invites a variety of scenarios that can take place within this space: such as fashion parades or a summer cinema. Besides, it identifies the space within the scale of the surrounding development by means of creating a unifying shell of a ghost-house.


“The indoor part of the café preserves the atmosphere of the summer pavilion with a slight hint of intimacy. A clever play of light and shadows creates a feeling of sun rays piercing through the foliage. The perforated shell seems to be ‘hanging’ in the air, revealing the scenery behind. The rest of the lighting is of theatrical nature, highlighting only the most important objects, sparing the intimacy of individual places. The furniture and lighting can be easily rearranged, allowing for fast transformations of the interior.”

Images courtesy of Aleksandr Abrosimov and Andrey Avdeenko


Assif is a luxury travel and design aficionado currently working as a BBC content producer. He holds an MA in journalism from the University of Leeds. He is partial to tea and cake - Yorkshire Tea Gold Blend please. His favourite trips include island hopping in the Seychelles, a mountain escape in Kashmir and getting lost in Hong Kong.

Assif is the current editor of Adelto Magazine. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram: @journolista.

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September 24, 2013 | Property | View comments

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