Sunday, December 7, 2008

Roskilde build-up done… for now

Saturday (yesterday) was an extremely busy day in Roskilde. At a point we were 2 baristas and one doctor/ dishwasher (thanks Tove) having trouble keeping the line of people from not growing too fast. Intense and very inspiring !

Hopefully we will have many more of these days, where you stand in a crowd and wonder where did all this come from ?

So I thought it good to summarize the hectic build-up now, while we still can remember what happened.

For this project we had some quite clear rules.

It had to be cheap.
When we first heard of this oppurtunity 4 weeks ago, everything was very uncertain about the contract etc. It is also a totally different setting from what we are used to and we can never be sure how our ideas are going to be perceived in this context. So we wanted to keep investments to a minimum in case we wouldn´t be allowed to open.

It had to go fast.
Both us and the contractholder could only go through with this if we could move in very swiftly. None of us could fit this project in much later. It was actually just 3 weeks between the day I saw the place for the first time until we opened the doors.

We saw these circumstances as quite challenging, luckily we have had an another factor playing in our favour- flexibility.

Eva, who had a designshop in the locality before, has been a dream as a co-operator. Always seeing potential problems or new ideas before anyone else. Helping with everything from the smallest details to just about anything, And always showing total trust in what we were doing. I would say it is crucial to get well of from the start with the people owning or renting out your locality, but in this case we can say that this whole project wouldn’t have been possible if wasn’t for Eva.
Peter has among other things been handling all the documentation brilliantly and I think that Peter and Eva could actually form the most efficient company ever if they wanted to.

Casper has done all the other things that we couldn’t. Running the roastery. Quite a mouthful.

So, our minds were set to build something quick and cheap. The room was in a good stand and had a perfect floor for a Coffeebar- epoxy. The walls needed some minor mending (which of course took more time than we thought) and 2 buckets of paint. We went on in a quite brutalistic manner, we did just the absolute minimum and put more effort on those parts and materials we wanted to stand out and really needed attention. In all, it was a very flexible room.

It was vital for us to expose our beans in good way, so we put some effort on making a shelf.
Second, the street window was magnificent and just called for a desk were you can sit and look and be looked at.
Third, the back window was first a minor priority, but gradually we realised that it was important to get it right. The back window is part of the bar area, so it was good to get it fixed for hygienic reasons but it also just makes it a better working area.

Klaus handled the extremely important electricity and plumbing which we had to take in from adjacent rooms. It went incredibly smooth and quick. The framework for the working area is 2 stainless steel tables. They were very cheap and I have to say that I love the fact that they are open underneath (no separatating walls creating shafts), so you can easily fix and adapt things along the way. If we need to increase the working area, we could actually just build on with more steeltables.
We also got a lot of very appreciated help from Torgny Törsäter (my father actually), he is an architect/carpenter and quite used to handle things like building a suspended windowdesk in no time with no money. We learn a lot from this kind of projects, which is an extra bonus, not taking into account the sense of control you get from receiving help from professionals.

After three weeks we are done, but as mentioned, the room is very flexible and can be changed quite dramatically if we intend to have another layout.

And there are of course thousands of things that Karen is improving on every day, but I have to say that she has already given an atmosphere to the place that wasn´t there before.


Anonymous said...

Interessant at læse om de tre hektiske uger inden Roskilde-kaffebarens start.

I dag mødte jeg Karen derinde. Dejligt at se hende igen. - Og kaffen var god og varmende som sædvanligt.

Mange hilsener Solveig

Anonymous said...

Wild boys :o) Looking good!

Det ser rigtig godt ud, jeg håber at jeg snart kan komme ud og se det.
Men jeg er måske ikke velkommen før jeg skaffer det verdenskort til jer? ;o)

Hilsen Ivalo