Emporio Chews Lane

Emporio Espresso is a European style coffee bar located in Chews Lane, Wellington.  It is conceived as a fast and frenetic coffee takeout bar offering Emporio Roasted Coffee and food in the centre of the city.

A single long precast concrete counter runs the length of the shop.  The counter is smooth and polished with a ground aggregate finish, as is the floor. The counter, as well as containing two espresso machines, a food display cabinet and all the other necessary activities, is intended as a comfortable leaner. Customers can engage with the Baristas and enjoy the process of the creation of their coffee.

The rear wall of the espresso bar is faced in a huge mirror with the Emporio graphics mounted over it. Multiple reflections enhance the vibrancy and create the illusion of a larger space.

Three giant plywood “cocoon” lights, custom designed by novak+middleton, absorb some of the grand height of the tenancy and provide the “wow” factor to entice patrons in from the lane. The lights are constructed from circular rings of hoop pine plywood. They provide a delicate warmth and richness which contrasts with the more austere concrete surfaces. The lights are certainly dramatic, and are enhanced by the multiple reflections that occur in the mirrors.

The ceiling is the underside of the precast profiled concrete floor above. Industrial metallic cable trays have been suspended below to run wiring, plumbing, lighting and the sound system.

The espresso bar is compact at 47m² so the planning by its nature had to be efficient. A limited palette of “tough materials” was employed. The materials required to be impervious and non absorbent. Once the pragmatic issues of the day to day workings of the business had been accommodated, the interesting challenge was to create an appropriate, unique image for the business.


Emporio Chews Lane