Mother Espresso

shedkm, Liverpool, 2017


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Felix Mooneeram (website)     Download Original

  • Exterior    
  • First impression    
  • Sunken seating, elevated counter    
  • Communal table    
  • Communal table    
  • Perimeter bench    
  • Perimeter bench    
  • Permeability    
  • Bicycle storage    
  • The Tea Factory    
  • Plan Before    
  • Plan After    
  • Concept Before    
  • Concept After    
  • Diagram    
  • Aerial View    
  • View From Atrium Into Cafe    
  • View From Cafe Into Atrium    
  • View From Lower Entrance    
  • View From Lower Entrance    
  • View From Atrium Entrance    
  • View From Upper Entrance    
  • View From Counter    
  • Communal Table    

A new cafe in the Tea Factory, a former tea warehouse in central Liverpool.

The Tea Factory was converted into offices and homes by Urban Splash in the 1990s. Since then, the nature of office work has changed and workers are no longer bound to their desks.

Shedkm were asked to create a space within the existing building where these workers could enjoy their new found freedom, together with residents and the public. Good food and drink were essential ingredients.

Shedkm started by forming a large opening, connecting a neighbouring space with the impressive, but often empty entrance of The Tea Factory.

Galvanised steel grating was used to create a secure but permeable boundary between the spaces, allowing the good smells, sounds and energy of the cafe to permeate the building.

In return, The Tea Factory puts on a show, with an eclectic cast of office workers, residents and visitors coming and going throughout the day.

Within the cafe, the counter takes centre stage. Elevated and illuminated, it draws people from Wood Street, through the space, to the source of good coffee. Customers can perch at a small bar or descend to the tables and chairs below. A birch plywood bench stretches around the perimeter of the sunken seating area. In the centre of this space, a generous communal table accommodates groups and individuals alike.

The shared furniture makes it easy for customers to get to know each other, but also allows for comfortable solitude.

The lighting is warm, low and easy on the eyes and the modest palette of raw materials - birch plywood, stainless steel and concrete - complement the red bricks and riveted steel columns of the original building.


  • Begun: Jun 2017
  • Completed: Dec 2017
  • Total cost: £100,000
  • Funding: Private
  • Tender date: Mar 2017
  • Procurement: JCT Intermediate
  • Address: 82 Wood Street , Liverpool, L1 4DQ, United Kingdom

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