Development may feel like it’s taking forever in central Christchurch, but the coffee options just broadened with the opening of Supreme’s new South Island headquarters. The Supreme team worked with architect Jessica Barter of Bureaux to convert a building that has served as a Land Rover dealership and, more latterly, as the Chinese goods emporium Hop Yick.
Barter synthesised both these historical influences as she developed the café’s design: the powder-coated steel furniture and splashbacks reference the robust elegance of old Land Rovers (as do the canvas bar fronts), while the soft grey palette and grid patterns routed into the ash cabinetry fronts and wall panels were inspired by an old Hop Yick ledger book left in the building.
Yes, Supreme has outlets elsewhere – Auckland, Melbourne, Wellington – but Christchurch represents a significant investment, not only because it’s the company’s first café with a full kitchen (there are plans to open in the evenings in Christchurch, too). Barista training facilities, a roastery and the South Island team’s offices are also in the building, only slightly separated from the main café space by frosted glass panels.
And while Supreme’s Auckland location, also known as Good One, is justly proud of its improvisational aesthetic, here in Christchurch things are intentionally built to last. “The most important thing was to give the people of Christchurch something that felt like a home, that was cool and crafted and permanent,” Barter says.
10 Welles Street, Christchurch
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