Foghound Coffee Shop and Showroom


The brief from the client was to design a Coffee shop and Coffee Machine showroom using shipping containers. The site, an existing office/ warehouse typology in Midrand, opposite Gallagher Estate Convention Centre, is a small parcel of land on Richards Road. The building was placed on the street edge to create a public interface with a somehow neglected sub-urban environment. To the opposite side of the street façade a courtyard is formed through the vertical stacking and placing of containers.

The containers are placed in such a manner that the cutting up and alterations of containers are minimalized. The two containers that are forming the showroom on the first floor are placed and cantilever from the ground floor containers to form the coffee shop below. Clerestory windows allow natural light between the two first storey containers, and acts as a space filler between containers.

Steel detailing is kept basic and the careful placing of container spaces minimalized the possible difficult infill details. A basic ring beam construction allows for a shallow service void to move services horizontally.

Highly insulated wall panel system of 80mm thick spray-in polyurethane foam avoids summer overheating and winter heat loss. A solar hot water heating system is carefully integrated with upright placed container that forms the service module of the building.

Finally the finishing of the interior of the building is kept to the basic with reclaimed timber ceiling and raw concrete floors for the coffee shop spaces and a more clean line finish for the first floor coffee machine show room and offices. The exterior of the containers remained unpainted with the branding just stencilled on where required.


"Green" Elements:

  • The use of containers
  • The use of reclaimed Oregon Pine
  • The use of mild steel in the interior elements makes the elements recyclable.
  • Wood (plywood and Oregon pine) – natural material  (Wood = carbon sequestration)

Cost Effective Elements:

  • The use of basic / “low-key” interior finishes such as the raw concrete floor, the rubber Tuff-tile floor and keeping the containers in its original paint.

Material Details:

Mild Steel                


  • Modified shipping containers


  • Structural container upright (IPE’s and CHS) cantilever containers
  • Mentis grid (expanded metal walking surfaces)
  • Display kitchen counter (Mild Steel wrapped frame and working surface)
  • Bar height counter (exposed Mild Steel sub-structure with integrated mild steel planter)
  • Mild Steel sub-structure fixed to containers for timber cladding, façades and ceilings.


Display counter sub-structure: 

  • Façade cladding
  • Services (plumbing and Electrical)
  • Laser cut sub-structure

Mild Steel display counter        

  • Laser cut
  • Profile bent
  • Polished                                                                                                       


  • slatted timber ceiling (Reclaimed Oregon Pine)


  • slatted timber façade cladding (Reclaimed Oregon Pine)



  • Floated concrete floor


24, Richards Dr, Midrand, 1685, South Africa