After browsing the web for a while searching for striking café ideas, I stumbled across this little gem. As soon as it caught my eye, I was drawn in and I instantly wanted to find out how this amazing invention had come about. With just a touch of a button, the shipping container transforms from an old rusty eye sore into a classy and clean eating and drinking establishment.
The Illy pop up café was designed by Adam Kalkin in 2007. His design was made using a hydraulically powered shipping container. Kalkin originally designed and made the shipping container into a single unit home. All of the furniture and fixings had to be removed before the replacement coffee bar could be installed. The centre of the container holds the sitting area, complete with a long table, library and chandelier. The coffee bar is located at one end of the main floor space, complete with 3 espresso machines (this area also hides all the wiring which is needed to power this brilliant invention). Towards the left side of the container is a desk space with a computer and a washroom. YES a bathroom is also available for customers to use (please note: washroom has no barrier between you and the outside world). On the right hand side is a lounge with couch and side tables. The white space also boasts a white awning to shelter the side areas from rain or that, somewhat unknown, hot summer sun. When closed, it’s only the red illy sign that distinguishes the pop up café from any old shipping container.
Cafe Illy before, during and after transformation
Personally, I love this. It’s an innovative idea which, although may have seemed a bit farfetched when put forward, as you can see from the pictures, the designer and technical members of the team have done a great job. I can’t help but wonder when this brilliant idea is going to come to a town near me.
However this will not be happening anytime soon, because unfortunately it is a one off which is unlikely to be replicated anytime in the near future.
We can but hope!!!