ANBASSA | Pantin, France | 2023
[OAR / Office Abrami Rojas]

In the city center of Pantin near Paris, a 1935 building has been ingeniously converted into a specialty coffee shop and roastery by the Italian-Mexican architectural design firm Office Abrami Rojas. The architects with a fondness for existing buildings with a story to tell didn’t think twice: the interior design project became a restoration project.

« After exposing the walls and the reinforced concrete supporting structure, we discovered and enhanced the magnificent reinforced concrete and glass domes, which were hidden until then by insulating panels. »

A continuous dialogue with the client and the craftsmen led to ambitious solutions. Custom-made steel furniture and terracotta cladding create a minimalist space, where the patina of time becomes a tapestry in shades of beige. The existing enhances the project, and vice versa. Natural light enters through the domes designed by architect René Tanalias (1898 – 1985) in the Art Deco style, while minimalist light design emphasizes the geometry of these double-height spaces. The laboratory, delimited by large glass surfaces, separates the tasting area from the offices. The three spaces are visually connected by a sequence that allows understanding of the building layout and the concatenation of coffee roasting, sales, and tasting operations. This sequence is underlined by the succession of Euclidean geometric shapes of the domes – ellipse, square, and circle – which we naturally incorporated into our architecture. Transparency, natural light, reverence for the existing, and handcrafted materials are the ingredients of this project. Text description by the architects.

Photography by: Francesca Iovene