Story at a glance:

  • Prague-based coffee shop GROUNDS is showing customers their process of creating coffee.
  • The company focused on reusing construction material in order to cut down on construction waste.
  • The GROUNDS building was built from 80% of a previously dismantled construction project.

When GROUNDS coffee shop arrived in Prague in 2020, architecture firm KOGAA collaborated with Rusty Nails Roasting Company founder Rene Kralovič to go beyond serving coffee; they wanted to create a communal space that was bright and open while using the least amount of materials possible.

Alexandra Georgescu, one of the cofounders of KOGAA, wanted to give the community a place where they can not only learn about the process of making coffee, but do so in a colorful, inviting space that is built sustainably with minimal waste. The KOGAA design team achieved this through lots of advance planning and with a strong overview of what they needed before the building process.

“Working hand-in-hand with the team running the roastery, learning their workflow, and consulting architectural decisions with them helped us to make a space that works,” Georgescu says.

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Elevation 1 of GROUNDS coffee shop in Prague. Drawing courtesy of KOGAA Studio

She says the interior of the building was built using 80% construction site waste of a previously dismantled project. “The suspended lights are recovered and painted industrial lamps from an inactive weapons factory,” she says.

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The building has been designed with an organic feel while also being open and translucent. Photo by Alex Shoots Buildings

Toward the sidewall, a suspended tangerine-colored metal staircase leads to the upper working space, enveloped by an organically shaped corrugated plastic wall you can see through. The plan allows nooks in which a variety of plants are growing, bringing life to the space and working to improve the indoor air quality while helping to keep a balance in humidity levels needed for the coffee.

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The several plants found around the building serve as natural air purifiers, while also helping to keep the humidity levels balanced for the coffee roasting process. Photo by Alex Shoots Buildings

She says reusing sustainable building materials and fitting them to new functions was this project’s biggest challenge.

“When designing all projects, we try and think about how the materials can be stored until a new function is appearing for the materials to be reused,” Georgescu says.

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Inside GROUNDS coffee shop, designed by KOGAA Studio, in Prague. Photo by Alex Shoots Buildings

Project Credits

Project name: GROUNDS Coffee
Location: Prague, Czech Republic
Completion: December 2020
Size: 1,290 square feet
Architect: KOGAA
Metal Staircase: DURO design