Doubles was an exercise in reinvention. The clients took over the lease of this small corner tenancy from an ill-fated cafe. Located on the ground floor of a busy Christchurch commercial building, it was dark and dated, with no connection to the street — the antithesis of what they wanted to create.
Working to a brief of 'high energy, low budget', the remedial work began by stripping away the outdated fixtures and furnishings to simplify the built form. Liberally coating the interior with a stark white paint to mirror the building's alabaster façade, curated green accents — note the powder-coated coffee machine — were added to soften the space. A reorientated counter introduced a more logical flow through the cafe, while custom, terrazzo-topped tables, window seats and bar leaners were considerately placed to maximise seating. By knocking down a connecting wall to the adjacent building lobby, the design has added valuable floor space and allowed the areas to bleed together.
The reinvigorated outdoor dining area has forged a better connection to the busy tourist trail of Worcester Boulevard. Two oversized outdoor tables now fill the space and encourage social interaction between visitors. At the same time, freshly landscaped planters form a soft barrier to the street, the break between them warmly welcoming people in.
Photography by Sarah Rowlands
NZIA — Resene Colour Award