The award-winning Truth Coffee HQ in Cape Town, renowned 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.
Truth Coffee approached Haldane Martin in 2011 to design their café interiors, including their new 1500m² headquarters.
Haldane Martin came up with Steampunk as a reference, as both coffee roasters and espresso machines display elements of romantic, steam-powered technology.
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. Haldane Martin opened up the ground floor façade onto the busy Buitenkant Street with tall steel and glass doors. Most of the building’s natural, aged patina was kept intact and complemented with raw steel, timber, leather, brass and copper finishes.
The huge vintage roaster became the kingpin for the space. Haldane Martin surrounded it with a 6m diameter circular steel shelving structure reminiscent of a Victorian gasworks.
A leather-top bar, clad in pressed tin ceiling panels, is located in front of the roaster shelving. Overstuffed, leather and steel chairs, barstools and copper-clad tables create a formal raised dining area. Horseshoe-shaped, deep-buttoned, high-backed, banquet seats run down the right-hand wall.
A communal 7.2m-long table – the longest in Cape Town – dominates the front café space. It has swing-out stools built from industrial pipe, malleable castings, and a table top made from Oregon pine reclaimed from the ceilings. A flickering candle bulb lighting and power cable installation hangs over the table, providing charging access for patrons.
Vintage steel stools and worn school desks on the sidewalk create the ideal spot for a quick coffee break.
Photos by Micky Hoyle