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Cafe Lliro renovation is a jaw dropping lesson in what ‘not to do’

Bar at Can Lliro adaptive reuse project
Adaptive reuse cafe interior
Can Lliro stage area with musicians playing

The Lliro Cafe is an adaptive reuse project in Manacor on the island of Mallorca, which has transformed into a live music venue and coffee shop. Owned for more than 30 years by the Lliro family, they saw a need to create a space for musicians of all kinds to perform.

To adapt the space for live performances, the acoustics needed to be addressed and the existing kitchen and bathroom facilities were updated to comply wit the current building codes.

Starting out it’s life in the 1900s as a house, it became a bread oven in the 1950s, a bar in the 80s before it’s current rebirth as a space to enjoy both coffee and concerts. The history of the building was retained and celebrated so the new fitout incorporates a multitude of elements which highlight the building’s past.

Exposed timber ceiling in cafe
Exposed timber ceiling and concrete floors in cafe

A ‘not to do’ approach was taken for the renovation, which simply means they left as much of the existing interior as intact as possible by deciding upon what ‘not to do’. Wall finishes were either left as they were or stripped back to reveal a past life, ceiling plaster was removed to make a feature of the original timber framework, old floor tiles have been exposed and furniture and fittings were reused. Creatively, old bricks and iron plates from the 1950s bread ovens have been reconfigured to build new bathrooms.

One of the main considerations when selecting the materials was to improve the acoustics to ensure the venue works well as a performance space. The owners took on a DIY approach and installed hanging dried marine Neptune grass over the stage area and throughout the bar. The marine plant was gathered from nearby beaches. New interior walls were built using KMO bricks, produced at a local workshop which is fuelled by biomass. The bricks are typically used to constructed arches but have been installed vertically, which creates a ribbed texture to prevent acoustic reverb.

A commitment was made to prioritise products and materials sourced locally, but when that was not possible, the most environmentally friendly option was chosen.

Related project: The KoCo Restaurant also started it’s life as a home. Read about it here

Sandstone and vertical bricks in adaptive reuse cafe
View towards restored timber fireplace
Vaulted ceiling looking towards bathrooms

Sustainability specs:
– Adaptive reuse cafe project
– A significant amount of existing materials, fixtures, fittings and furniture were reused
– Materials and fittings upcycled
– Reducing energy consumption was prioritised
– Acoustics improved by installing dried neptune grass over the stage and throughout the bar
– FSC certified pine
– Eco-clay raw earth boards
– Locally sourced materials and products were prioritised
– Bricks sourced from a local workshop, fuelled by biomass

Exposed timber ceiling looking towards timber bar
Bathroom with recycled brick walls and timber
Recycled bricks and timber ceiling in bathroom
Recycled brick walls in cafe
Mixed recycled bricks on wall and brick steps
From the architect:

In the current context of the climate crisis, the project investigates and demonstrates the capabilities to solve contemporary programs of local and ecological resources that constitute the material culture of the place.

Images courtesy of Aulets Arquitectes + Carles Oliver. Photography by José Hevia
Via www.archdaily.com

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