Slovenian studio Triiije has used recycled materials to create a mix of patterns and textures in Lolita Eipprova, an offbeat cafe in Ljubljana, Slovenia.
Most of the materials used in the fit-out of the cafe were either repurposed from the previous interior or sourced second-hand.
For Triiije director Andrej Mercina, the design is the result of exploring a more sustainable approach to interior design.
“Do we really need new materials to create a conceptually strong and cozy interior?” he questioned. “We minimised the hours in the office and maximised the work on site, with the commitment to create a warm, hospitable ambience.”
To start the design, Mercina worked out what materials were already present in the building and which ones could be retained.
“It was quite a stinky, horrible interior,” he told Dezeen, “but we decided that we had to evaluate every single piece before sending it to trash.”
Existing wall tiles were retained, even though some were damaged and “unfashionable”, and Mercina also added some other tiles he found in the basement.
The flooring includes some old parquet that the designer found on a construction site, which was otherwise destined for landfill. Elsewhere, the original screed floor is repaired and retained.
“There is glue, there is old screed, all incorporated in the whole new graphics of the floor,” he said.
Assorted fabrics were used to create curtains and banquette seating upholstery, bringing more pattern to the space.
For the furniture, Mercina sourced a mix of new and vintage Thonet chairs to create a classic cafe feel. These are paired with sculptural round tables.
For visitors, the most distinctive features of the interior are an installation by artist Jaša Mrevlje-Pollak and the crockery. Food and drinks are served in china cups and on plates found in local flea markets.
“They have became a trade mark of the coffee shop; each time you’re served in different cup,” added Mercina.
Lolita Eipprova was shortlisted for Dezeen Awards 2021 in the sustainable interior category, together with four other projects including a California-inspired aparthotel in southeast London and a restaurant designed using upcycled junk and site construction waste.
Photography is by Miran Kambič and Taja Košir Popovič.