Roast is an intimate coffee bar in Alkmaar’s historic city center. Those who visited Roast before its reopening knew that it was a place where everyone felt at home: as schoolgirls were drinking latte macchiatos, tourists came in to have a quick espresso break, and every morning, retirees appeared for their regular coffee and a pastry. We were inspired by the diversity of the clientele and the warm relationship between staff and regulars, as we designed Roast to stand out from your typical hipster coffee bar.
Taking cues from Italian cafes from the early 1900s, we wanted Roast to have a classical atmosphere with dark tones and dimmed lights. Soft muted green tones combine with walnut-stained timber, while brass detailing adds texture and light. The result is a space that doesn’t feel new at all. Yet, by complementing these traditional materials with more contemporary ones, Roast’s style is hard to pinpoint to a specific time and place. One of those modern additions is the countertop: a plastic rig mat usually used at construction sites. However, in the context of a coffee bar, it becomes a kind of oddly colored, synthetic granite. Its quirkiness matches the angled, cut-off furniture that adds another surprise to the space.
As for the bar, we felt the barista should be able to greet each incoming customer. Therefore, we designed the counter as low as possible so that the coffee machine could be placed on top, making the barista face the door directly. The new bar minimizes the threshold for customers, making them feel at home even more.