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Citizen signage, made from recycled plastic
Front view of solar panels
Interior view of counter made from recycled materials

Citizen.MDW pop up coffee pavilion was made up of entirely borrowed items which were returned to the owners after their use.

Designed by ZWEI Interiors & Architecture, the project set out to challenge what we know as sustainable design by creating a pavilion which is fully sustainable from top to tail. This means they looked at the sustainability of the pavilion’s construction and the operational sustainability of the business who used it. Everything from the way the coffee is sourced, which machines were used to operate the coffee pop up, what happens with waste produced in the coffee making process, energy production, material and equipment selection, borrowing and re-use as much as possible, cost reduction, minimising demolition waste and building/demolition timeframes were considered.

Wall of recycled materials, milk crates
Close up view of recycled plastic counter top

The pavilion was created for a 10 day event so it was important that it could be quickly erected and demounted. Temporary scaffolding was selected as the main construction material because it’s an off the shelf item and it’s purpose is to be reused over and over again. Borrowed milk crates were used to create walls and to build the servery counter which was topped with plastic sheeting made from post consumer waste. To inspire customers with ways to reuse coffee grounds, rather than sending them to landfill, mushrooms were grown in recycled tubing.

The project was delivered at approximately a third of the cost of a permanent structure of the same size, which shows you how powerful reuse, borrowing and running on solar energy can be.

The Citizen.MDW pop up coffee pavilion was part of the Melbourne Design week in March 2020 and was produced in collaboration between ZWEI Architecture & Interiors, Code Black Coffee, Four Seasons Commercial Interiors, Nose To Tail and NGV Melbourne.

Close up external view of solar panels
Temporary scaffolding and recycled materials
Close up view of recycled plastic tubes

Sustainability specs:
– All the materials were borrowed – solar roof panels, Tesla batteries, plastic crates, scaffolding
– Off-grid
– 118 solar panels, connected to Tesla batteries
– Rainwater collected in 1,000 litre water tanks
– Recycled plastic sheet used for benchtops made from post-consumer waste
– Repurposed timber
– Existing concrete pavers were used
– Off the shelf products were used
– Ethically sourced coffee beans
– Coffee grounds used for composting
– Customers encouraged to bring their own cups

External view of solar panels on facade
Person walking past pavilion with solar panels on facade
From the architect:

Citizen, as a structure, wasn’t designed for the long term, but some of the key messages certainly were.

An important part of the sustainability discussion is about reusing rather than simply replacing. Those small incremental behavioural changes can be half the sustainable trajectory.

Some of the lessons learnt from creating Acre Eatery at Brickworks in Burwood certainly came in useful when Citizen came on board. From Acre we could appreciate the challenge of being fully sustainable rather than giving tokenism to it. It’s not just about the material choices and the services provided, but importantly, the systems that need to be fully addressed.

Images courtesy of ZWEI Interiors & Architecture. Photography by Jack Lovel
Via www.sustainablebuildingawards.com.au

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