Laboratorio Espresso

DO-Architecture, Glasgow, 2013


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Laboratorio Espresso 

John Wood Photowork (website)     Download Original

  • Laboratorio Espresso    
  • Exterior View    
  • Interior View    
  • Interior View    
  • Seating Area    
  • Plinth Counter    
  • Interior View    
  • Timber shuttering panels from the Glasgow School of Art    
  • Figure Ground Plan    
  • Cafe plan    
  • Elevations    
  • Section A-A    
  • Section B-B & C-C    
  • Working Detail.jpg    

Remodelling of a commercial shell unit to create a streetside cafe

Laboratorio Espresso is a small Milanese streetside cafe, located within the commercial centre of Glasgow.

An intentionally simple and robust interior has been carved out of the commercial building within which it sits, revealing timber linings around high level, with concrete, brick and cement particle board forming the backdrop to human activity below.

A restricted total build budget demanded innovation in material selection and details. This happily coincided with the recovery and re-use of the timber shutter boards from the new Steven Holl Glasgow School of Art building.

In their former life these timbers defined the concrete surface texture of the Glasgow School of Art. Formwork linings are generally unseen and discarded after use, however in this instance the texture and richness of the timbers are celebrated.

The brickwork floor is extruded in a stack bond, and capped with precast concrete to create an active plinth from which coffee is served.


  • Begun: Sep 2013
  • Completed: Oct 2013
  • Floor area: 30m2
  • Sector: Retail
  • Total cost: £30,000
  • Tender date: Mar 2013
  • Procurement: Minor Works for use in Scotland
  • Address: 93 West Nile Street, Glasgow, G1 2SH, United Kingdom

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