A sustainable coffee shop with its own secret entrance

A coffee shop in the centre of Jakarta, sandwiched between buildings in the middle of a dense neighbourhood. It’s a gem so hidden that you can only reach it via a secret entrance to a private residence.

Surrounded by concrete jungle in the tropical city, the location is heavily affected by the urban heat island effect. This unbearable heat also increases year by year due to global warming. With these problems in mind, the architects designed a solution that works with the climate.


An environmentally friendly yet comfortable haven, built using local materials with simple techniques by local hands.

The team transformed the existing 2-story abandoned building into a roastery on the ground floor and a hobby space on the upper floor without changing its structure. Unlike most buildings in Jakarta, the 1st floor was redesigned into an open space, except for a roaster storage room, where sterility is required. The architect designed a combination of man-made shading (gazebo) and natural shading (trees) to cool down the space while still allowing sunlight.

The entrance, a wooden deck pathway, was shaded by a gazebo. Underneath the gazebo, a step down from the surface, the team designed seats from the same wood. If you take a seat and look up, you could stargaze through the gazebo skylight. Due to this level-down design, the area seems broader while still utilizing the space well.

The pathway starts with a wooden deck, and an iron bridge over gravel under the trees, and ends with concrete flooring in the roastery. Due to the material play, walking along the pathway, you slow down, taking in the green environment. A curated array of industrial tropical plants greeted you. A sight to marvel at after getting used to seeing tall buildings. The green trees give a vibrant contrast to concrete grey and warm wooden surrounding. Immediately, serenity seeps in. It feels like entering a hidden sanctuary in the middle of Jakarta.

Every single aspect is designed for comfort, including maintenance. Maintenance is as easy as letting nature set its course. The trees don’t have to be watered to thrive. The concrete walls don’t need to be cleaned manually. Moss & little plants will grow on it, adding the ethereal forest-like beauty to the garden. The owner will not replace the woods for decades as the woods get sturdier with water.

The design also benefits nature. Unlike the typical Jakarta outdoors, the outdoor area is not covered in concrete. As a result, the soil will absorb heavy rainfall. Other than that, the team reused the woods that comes with the existing building to create concrete wood cast to reduce carbon footprint. Moreover, no electricity is needed in the mornings and afternoons. Every room, even the farthest one from the window, is well-lit with sunlight. You could feel the breeze even on the hottest day. Turning on lights and an air conditioner would be the last thing on your mind.

Upon entering the building area, you could see and pick packaged coffee beans, displayed on the rack. After choosing the beans, you could taste them on the wooden bar.

The team installed rooster bricks around the stairs leading to a private area to give a sense of privacy. An artful light pattern seeped through the surrounding bricks, illuminating the stairways. Arriving at the hobby space, you could see vinyl display racks and a DJ space. Over the mez­zanine, a skylight was placed to stargaze at night and allow natural light to enter at noon. Bringing in trees and other outdoor elements, the team brings an outdoor feel indoors.

Images by Mario Wibowo via ArchDaily

Get our enews

Design and development news that comes to you


Sun Ranch: A paradigm of luxury and creativity in Byron Bay's Hinterland

In the heart of Byron Bay's hinterland lies a sanctuary of unparalleled luxury and creativity: Sun Ranch. Spread across ...

Permeable wooden cladding merges boutique hotel with nature on a Brazilian island

In a harmonious fusion of luxury and nature, Maria Flor Inn, a boutique hotel nestled on the picturesque ...

Studio Paolo Ferrari transforms Toronto restaurant with cinematic interiors

Toronto's downtown area is now home to a cinematic dining experience unlike any other, courtesy of the innovative ...


Stay connected to the SPEC

Join our reader network by signing up to our weekly newsletter and receive design and development news straight to your inbox

Specifier Source is brought to you by the same company that publishes Home Design, Grand Designs Australia Magazine, Kitchens & Bathrooms Quarterly Magazine, Outdoor Design Source, Build Home, CompleteHome and many more.

© 2022 Universal Media Co. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Terms of Service. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Universal Media Co.