Coffee Shops Pretoria / Create Café / Nadine Engelbrecht

Project name: Create Café 

Architect’ Firm: Nadine Engelbrecht Architect

Coffee Shops Pretoria / Create Café / Nadine Engelbrecht

Create Café is a 240m2 small-scale renovation project located in Pretoria, South Africa. In order to extend the facilities of her boutique hotel, the client acquired a neighboring residential property that contained an old derelict garage. The design proposed to repurpose the existing building at minimal cost, disturbance, and time. The surviving elements of the building were exposed and uncovered to serve as the backbone of the new design – to support new interventions and additions. Design and materials were selected to stitch together the old and new fabric and transform the existing buildings to facilitate a Café space.

Coffee Shops Pretoria / Create Café / Nadine Engelbrecht

The structural integrity of the old garage walls was questionable, thus an additional layer was added in the form of a steel structure placed over the old brick walls. The resultant loft creates non-traditional volumes and adds a mezzanine space to the café. The new roof and cantilevered glass facades offer glimpses of dense foliage whilst the street-facing picture window invites public glimpses of the life within. The existing building footprint and walls remained intact. Plaster was removed to reveal the original bricks and celebrate the presence of the old structure in Create Café.   

In choosing a brownfield site and renovating an existing building, the impact of construction for this Coffee Shops Pretoria is kept to a minimum. Construction waste, such as demolished internal walls and heritage pavers found on site, was reclaimed and reused on-site for construction or as artwork. New window placements invite natural daylight into the structure and assist in keeping the energy demand as low as possible. Natural cross ventilation and sufficient insulation assist in passive cooling of the structure during summer.

Coffee Shops Pretoria / Create Café / Nadine Engelbrecht

See also Plato Coffee by Nadine Engelbrecht

For photos of Create Cafe in use click here or here

For other African cafes click here

Contact e-mail:

Instagram @engelbrechtnadine

Lead Architects:  Nadine Engelbrecht

Project location: Menlo Park, Pretoria, South Africa

Completion Year: 2015

Coffee Shops Pretoria Gross Built Area (square meters or square foot): 240m2

Photo credits:    Marsel Roothman Photography           

Photographer’s website:

Other participants 

Client: Charmaine Freyer of Alpine Attitude Boutique Hotel

Main contractor: EJ Fourie Projects 

Steel contractor (main structure): Ranco Ondernemings

Steel contractor (stairs): Kare Sheet Metal Products 

Roofing contractor: Trust Sheeting

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