Czech design firm KOGAA has completed a new café concept in the developing Karlín section of Prague. Located within the courtyard of a residential street, GROUNDS features an industrial materiality—80 percent of which was sourced from construction site waste. “Designed through making, the self-sustaining object feels almost as if it had its own personality, like a human being,” says KOGAA founding partner Alexandra Georgescu.

A central skylight injects light onto the interior’s lofty mezzanine structure, which is accessible via a suspended, tangerine-hued metal staircase. The elevated volume also houses an inner chamber for storage, as well as roasting, packaging, and testing processes. The perimeter of the mezzanine is lined with abundant greenery that also serves as natural air purifiers and humidity controllers for the nearly 1,300-square-foot café. “The ring of plants moves and changes with time so the whole space always seems slightly different,” Georgescu adds.

Suspended light fixtures are made from upcycled and recovered materials found at an inactive weapons factory, while the bar showcases a materiality of uncoated corrugated metals sheets alongside a custom metalworking desk that anchors the inner space. Handmade concrete coffee tables are accented by wooden benches as well.

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