Emporio HQ Cafe

Emporio coffee are commercial and retail coffee suppliers. Their new premises in Abel Smith Street off Upper Cuba Street, Wellington is a coffee roastery, espresso bar, distribution and training centre.

A brief was developed for a commercial business that was semi industrial in nature. The espresso bar side of the business was to be secondary to the roasting and distribution process but was to be the public face of the business. Emporio were keen for customers to be able to view and understand their coffee roasting process, without getting too close.

A limited palette of ‘tough material’ were required. The building was stripped back to it’s shell and sandblasted. Existing concrete had various treatments including painting, sealing and polishing. New raw concrete blocks were laid. Walls were clad in negative detailed Eterpan sheets and a screen of 100 x 75 plywood posts suspended on galvanised brackets with either perforated plywood sheets or toughened glass was added to delineate the different areas and processes. Steel beams were inserted to suspend sliding glass partitions from. None of the internal partitions touch the floor or ceiling.

As well as creating an environment for a fully working business which had a ‘edgy aesthetic’ the behind the scenes requirements of dealing with the heat and smoke from the 30kg Petroncini Coffee Roaster and Lamborghini afterburner together with the pneumatic driven destoner and vacuum green coffee transporter were to be accommodated.

It was decided to leave all services open and accessible for future servicing. So an aesthetic was developed which included stainless steel smoke flues, vacuum bean transporting lines, cable trays and water and waste piping.


Emporio HQ Cafe




NZIA Wellington Architecture Awards Winner for Commercial and Industrial