Subko Coffee Roasters
1100 sq. ft
Oct 2019 - Jan 2020
Hidden in the by-lanes of Old Bandra village in Mumbai, the restoration of a bungalow built in 1925 houses SUBKO coffee’s flagship roastery, cafe, and bakehouse. The concept for the project was crafted by journeying through the history and culture of coffee in the subcontinent of India. The overarching goal, from an aesthetic perspective, was to create a novel space that at once took the best from bohemian ‘hipster’ minimalism, prevalent in specialty coffee houses worldwide, and re-imagine it to incorporate classic homages to the subcontinent.
The coffee house is characterised through the use of elements and materials such as copper, cane, teak wood, tube lights (re-imagined), angled mirrors, local plant species, and a two-tone colour scheme – of ‘Kerala’ green and distressed cream reminiscent of old coffee houses across India. All of these woven together create the unique identity of SUBKO – from the subcontinent.
Retaining much of its original structure and detailing, it features 5 separate experience zone areas. The first is a quiet reading room, then a community table and work-friendly plug-in zone and third is the bench seating at its specially designed manual brewing trolley ‘Bloom Bar’. This is where coffees are roasted fresh and packaged in front of you. The final two spaces are an urban alleyway-esque garden and finally its bakehouse kitchen tucked into the back.
The surgical overhaul of the bungalow, originally planned to be a home/residence, comprised of carefully injecting openings, breaking open a load bearing wall and restoring the old teak windows and raftered ceiling. These small changes allowed for visual connect between the ‘rooms’ in the home, allowing the space to function not only as a café, but also a roastery and bakery, allowing patrons to witness the back-end workings like the fresh roasting and brewing of coffee.