Our clients aspired to create a unique, coffee focused, Italian cafe in Glasgow's city centre.  The premises have a very small footprint, but a really high ceiling and lots of beautiful natural light. 

At the same time as developing this project, we were avidly watching the construction of Steven Holl's new building at Glasgow School of Art.  This is a concrete building, and we had opportunity to visit the site as construction progressed there.  The timber panels used to shutter the concrete during the pours have been lovingly salvaged (with permission of course!) and given a new life in Laboratorio Espresso.  The timbers were oiled as part of the concrete processes, and they have a wonderful, weathered quality due to their former life on Garnethill.  

The timbers are accompanied by simple, robust materials, with a straightforward plan to keep the focus on the coffee.

We were so chuffed when this project got shortlisted for the AJ Small Projects award in 2014, and though we didn't win, the opportunity to present alongside some other brilliant and deserving schemes was a great experience.


It makes us really happy to see the cafe being used and loved and photographed, and it has also been immortalised in a special edition of cups that are currently available to take away!