Catalyst Cafe & Coffee Roasters

Typology: Interior design
Location: 48 Gray’s Inn road, London, UK
Usage: Coffee shop and cuisine
Size: 140m²
Client: Catalyst Roasters
Construction: Stoneforce Group, UK
Date: 2016
Status: Built
Photo: 157+173 designers
Credits: Graphic design by DesignLDN Ltd



Catalyst roasters is a speciality coffee shop. Opened in 48 Grey’s Inn road in central London, Catalyst offers its own coffee blend roasted on its basement, together with a Global – Mediterranean based cuisine for breakfast, branch, lunch and dinner, and a selection of quality draft beer. The team of Catalyst, food and coffee lovers, seek the very best. The challenge was to design an environment to host a relaxing and pleasant coffee experience, and together to partly reveal its role as a “lab” which is testing and self producing the coffee and also cooking the food served.

The concept of the Catalyst design was the materiality itself, in which we aimed to balance the use of natural materials into the space, in order to create a warm – but not colorless space, based on texture simplicity, a humble glossiness and brightness into the grey London mood, a balance between roughness and sensitivity as a good cup of coffee has. On the shop’s ground level, the bar, the sitting area and the display selling points are located, while the basement level becomes an always busy open lab, accessible and open to the public, with a build in coffee roaster and an open kitchen. A hole on the floor, topped with a clear glass floor, is the connection point between the 2 levels, where someone can sneak a view of the production procedure, while having a coffee.


The Catalyst is designed with much emphasis on the detail and finishes, and this is how its character is acquired.

The bar is a massy stone volume made of grey “eucalyptus” granite and white marble, ending on a glass & copper bespoke fridge-cabinet. It is the stone heart of the Catalyst, while around it a big plywood common table is arranged.

Behind the bar, a white full height glass wall is designed to serve as a massive whiteboard while giving an elegant perception on the space. The glass wall is also designed to be the revealing point of the shop flesh, when fading from white to opaque, and lets  the old colors and textures on the wall be revealed again, referencing on the history and the memory of the space itself.

The floor is designed based on an idea of creating carpet-like stone patterns, inside large plywood surfaces.


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