It’s no secret that we get weak at the knees for a beautifully designed space. Its just what we do, we seek out brilliance in design and décor, both locally and internationally. We search for spaces that optimise functionality, that enhance beauty, and harness the unique potential of materials, and utilize them in the most attractive and practical ways. We like beautiful plans, good flow, innovative materials, and local talent. We also really like coffee. A lot. The stronger the better. Coffee doesn’t ask questions, or assign deadlines, it just understands.

We found all this and more in the Rosetta Roastery, in The Woodstock Exchange in Cape Town. The unbelievable beautifully designed and implemented coffee bar and roastery opened earlier this year. Wanting to embody modern masculinity combined with classic old-world finery, the Rosetta team worked with Adam Hill and Jordan Metcalf. for their branding, and then with Thingking design,who translated their concept into a three-dimensional interior working and retail space. The final result successfully communicates both the raw and industrial nature of a coffee roastery (in essence a processing plant) as well as the incredibly precise and refined nature of the perfect cup of coffee.

The more industrial back of the shop, the roastery, was designed for optimal functionality. There is a prevalence of raw wood and unfinished mild steel. ThingKing observed the Rosetta team at work, how they moved around the space, and made note of high traffic areas, and took this into consideration. The choice of raw materials reflects the state of the coffee itself, for example, the green unprocessed coffee is stored in hessian sacks, while the processed beans are stored in wooden cylinders.

Moving from the roastery into the espresso bar in the front, the product, as well as the decor becomes a more finished, polished product. The beans themselves, after being precision roasted are then brewed with meticulous attention to detail into the perfect cup of coffee. This shift is reflected in the design of the espresso bar, which is expertly finished in solid kiaat and topped with marble. The geometry of the branding, conceptualized by Jordan and Adam is picked up by Thingking in the smallest details, such as the chamfered edges on the bar and stools, as well as the triangular steel stool bases and plantbox wall attachments constructed out of brass, copper and steel – the three metallic tints that Adam and Jordan chose to use in Rosetta Roastery’s coffee bags.

The polished espresso bar area, one of 'em fantastic flat whites
Images: Metallic detailing and the geometry of the roastery's logo is repeated within the space

A caffeine and design fix in one!

m:         +27 76 1500 140
w:         +27 21 447 4099

66 Albert Road,
Cape Town



Office: (0)21 200 0489
Lyall Sprong:  (0)83 415 9947
Marc Nicolson:  (0)72 618 8988