Fiji Cafe / Urata Look Out Cafe / Caukin studio

Designed by CAUKIN Studio

The Urata community and Savusavu Rotary Club identified a unique opportunity to develop a community fiji cafe which would serve both local and international tourists who journey between the two main towns on the island, Labasa and Savusavu. 

For further Oceania Cafe designs click here

The two main towns are linked by a 90 km road that crosses the mountains between them. It is an incredibly scenic drive with several stunning views along the route, the most iconic of which is the view that crests the hills after the Sekawa valley and renders a spectacular first sighting of Savusavu Bay. 

There is a small, informal lay-by here which has become a popular place for local and international tourists to stop and take a photo, gazing over the landscape – a wonderful introduction to Savusavu Bay.

However, the site had become subject to fly tipping and littering by the vehicles who stop there. This was an example of both environmental negligence and a lost opportunity for tourism and local entrepreneurship.

The new fiji cafe will ensure that the littering will no longer occur and will take advantage of the incredible views by offering passers by the opportunity to stop and get coffee, ice cream and cakes. The building, owned by the Urata Village Community, will be leased to a commercial operator who will be required to hire members of the village. All of the building lease fees will go directly to the community for future development projects, providing a sustainable income and guaranteed jobs for village members. 

The building features an open plan internal seating area with a series of bifold doors which open out to a large veranda for alfresco dining. Alongside two public toilets, the building hosts a small studio apartment with a private bathroom for a live-in caretaker who will also be an employed member of the Urata community. 

Built entirely with locally sourced materials, the timber framed structure has been designed to withstand future cyclones- a natural disaster event that has been increasing in frequency and severity in the South Pacific in the last few years due to climate change. 

The form of the fiji cafe encourages air flow through the spaces, drawing hot air out through the stack effect and maintaining a cool internal environment. The large sheltered walkways and veranda provide a shaded area to observe the view, framed by a table top to the front where visitors can enjoy their coffee. The exposed structure creates a layered facade and frames the walkway to the entrance. 

Local tourism will be an important component of tourist activity in the short – mid term as restrictions due to the COVID pandemic remain in force. As the pre covid international tourism market returns, the Urata Lookout Cafe will be an attraction in its own right, further boosting the potential for the fiji cafe’s success and sustained income for the community.

We would like to say a big thank you to the ARUP Cardiff office for their support on the structural engineering and providing us with an onsite engineer for the project. 

For more information on CAUKIN Studio’s humanitarian projects, visit: Caukin Studio

General Information

Project Name: Urata Look Out Cafe / Fiji Cafe

Architecture Firm: CAUKIN Studio


Contact e-mail:

Firm Location: London & Cardiff UK

Completion Year: 2022

Gross Built Area: 125m2

Project location: Cross Island Road, Savusavu, Vanua Levu, Fiji

Lead Architects: Cassie Li, Joshua Peasley

Lead Architects e-mail: ,

Media Provider

Photo credits: Katie Edwards          

Photographer’s website:

Photographer’s e-mail:

Additional Credits

Design Team: Cassie Li, Joshua Peasley, Emily Charlton, Maria Reyes Barian, Harry Hogan

Clients: Urata Village, The Savusavu Rotary Club, US Embassy Fiji

Engineering: ARUP 

International & Community Participants: Maisie Tudge, Cara Taggart, Grace-Marie Spencer, Lexie Smith, Alex Bramhall, Kushi Lai, Joao Pires, Tracy Kong, Rose Nicholson, Amelia Hamlet, Marta Petteni, Ella Johnson, Bella Colley, Fadeke Tejuoso, Marc Gutierrez, Wura Belgore, Caitlin Steeghs, Siya Kulkarni, Sophie Reid, Clara Calladine, Rachel McDermott, Tyler Webber, Chiara Hergenroder, Gabriela Tancheva, Camille Anderson, Ana Nikolayenia, Eroni Ravore, 

Leilani Ravore, Siteri Digutu Tubiani, Selai Dralolo, Savaira, Emma Lewaia, Ateca Dromu, Luisa Karikaritu, Seini Kitu, Adi Lotawa Rokobuli, Somi, Selina Naceva, Olivia Vetaukula, Lape Nanewa, Diyaga Mua, Mary Moimoi, Virisila Naceva, Shide Digutuwaqalevu, Remisio Dralolo, Remi Tubinai, Iowane Bukakovo, Jemesa Ramuacala, Isoa Rokobuli, Tomasi Vakere, Salaceili Taganeca, Savenaca, Joseva Cogara, Varauni Mua, Lisio, Vilimone, Samu Kitu, Tomasi Matu, Salio Save, Nemia Vataukula, Samu Karikaritu, Maiwalu Naikatolu, Stefano Waka, Serevi, Josefa Bolatini, Brown Tuinuku

Suppliers: Labasa Pacific Trade Investments (Timber), Vinod Patel Hardware (Various hardware), Home Depot Hardware Savusavu (Timber & Hardware), RPA Roads Fiji (Concrete), Digtrak Fiji (Machinery & Crane hire), RC Manubai Labasa (Tiling & Plumbing supplies)

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