The award-winning Truth Coffee HQ in Cape Town – famed for its steampunk concept interior – was Haldane Martin’s first major commercial interior design project that put the design firm on the map for creating iconic interiors that translate brand identity into striking, three-dimensional environments.
A three-storey, turn of the century, warehouse building was stripped to its bare bones, exposing beautiful cast iron pillars, Oregon pine roof trusses and floors, and original stone and brick walls. Leather and steel in a variety of seating arrangements – including intimate dining booths, a 7m-long communal table, and cafe tables, each piece a bespoke Haldane Martin design – create versatility within an industrial, single concept space.
The brainchild for the concept came after identifying similarities between coffee roasters and espresso machines and the steampunk aesthetic, both displaying elements of romantic, steam-powered technology in a retro-futuristic way. Steampunk’s obsession with detail and sensual aesthetics also captured the essence of Truth Coffee’s product philosophy: “We roast coffee. Properly.”
This design concept has ultimately come to define the brand.
The concept interior combined with Truth’s ethos of integrity and quality has seen the brand garner international renown. Truth Coffee was named the world’s best coffee shop by MSN Travel in 2013 and again by The Telegraph in 2015. It went on to win Gold for interior design at the Loerie Awards. The interior also featured in the fashion film Steam 1886 by Adrian Lazarus, winning Design Indaba’s Most Beautiful Object in South Africa award in 2014.
Photos by Micky Hoyle