Project Credits :
Project: Coffee Paviliion
Location: IBNI, Coorg
Architect: Bhavana Hameed
It is a small wonder how Coorg‘s irrepressible beauty, showcases a curious mix of a native tradition and an urban concept of a pavilion, allowing us to imagine a structure that serves as a coffee pavilion. Throughout the state’s history, coffee plantation has played a very important role in its economy. The site gives you a panoramic view of the unbuilt imagery of Coorg, from across the hills, into the valley, that takes you through a unique architectural journey and offers you one of the best sunsets on the horizon. Through a mixture of a maze of trees, tucked in the valley between three hills, prepare yourself for a delight of an impressively copious pavilion that gets offset by a large pond.
The architectural form simultaneously disseminates a unique design typography reflecting its regional distinctiveness, exhibiting a design so grateful and stately, honoring the age old tradition of the place. There is a sense of mystery in the spatial configuration of the site, to experience this typical potpourri of design and picturesque environmental characteristics, do not let the simplicity of the structure deceive you. In fact enjoy the texture of the land ,sights and sounds emanating from the mangrove forests and an expansive open space manifesting an architectural feature that is as structurally significant as it is in function.
The pavilion serves as a meditative space for the residents, a world filled with appreciation of nature combined with the art of living graciously in the modern world while tasting hand-picked coffee from Coorg and all over the world. The exterior deck with its original curing tanks is reused as coffee drying yards, and the hard landscape around is interspersed with coffee plants. The entry into this deck is through a heavy wooden door that stands in the center of a thin glass wall adding to the drama of stepping outside into the pond deck. This door is a symbolic feature that frames your entry from one space to another.
“A large pond was created around a hard platform that existed on site built as a concrete block making unit by the previous owners. Over three monsoons the water enveloped this platform on all four sides making it an island in the valley.”
The building uses this platform as its plinth and only a flying roof is added to emphasize the dramatic views from this location. The approach to the building is deliberately taken all the way around the water body to arrive through the side of the building.
As one walks to the building he is offered glimpses of the lake and the pavilion through the tall vegetation surrounding the pond. This builds the anticipation in him until he arrives inside the coffee pavilion and is gifted with the panoramic view of the mountains and the valley and the still water in front.
The design of the pavilion itself is reduced to the bare minimum, in its simplest form, without taking anything away from the landscape. The sweep of the roof accentuates the mountains behind and the vista ahead. The beams supporting the flying roof are inverted above the slabs to get an undisturbed face of the slab from within.
The glass wall was designed without any frames to have an uninterrupted view of the valley as soon as one enters the coffee shop. The furniture is designed to the bare minimum and the flooring and finishes are of natural materials from the region.
The structure survives today as a symbol of prosperity, of the age old coffee plantation community and the versatility as well as the artistry of the craftsman. The minimalism and the sense of ornamentation of the wooden and glass façades, along with concrete add to the unique characteristics of this region. The method of construction, structure use of material, techniques ,articulating vocabulary of design and symbolism along with inherent organization in plan come together in a unified manner to manifest nature’s own coffee pavilion.
– Niyati Shetty ,Volume Zero.