The Colicci Coffee kiosk at Westfield Stratford City Shopping Centre sits at the entrance of London’s largest mall and at the apex of the main street linking Stratford Station with the nearby Olympic Park, including its Copper Box Arena, and iconic buildings such as Zaha Hadid’s Aquatic Centre. Responding to this environment, the kiosk’s tour-de-force is a swelling copper roof which seemingly floats above its glass walls, offering protection from all weathers. Designed to mimic the mouth of an orchid, the entrance and roof are shaped to lure visitors in to a copper cocoon, converting the usual ‘grab-and- go’ coffee culture into a sensory, warm user experience.
ANCIENT AND MODERN TECHNIQUES
The roof’s surface is a combination of an 18th century copper sheathing technique and computer-aided design. We developed a digital skin which reflected the eventual physical structure of the roof, then divided its surface area into virtual tile segments – each translating into CNC-cut sheets which could be manually clad. The result was a bespoke jigsaw of 542 individual numbered copper pieces, assembled by hand with a pneumatic gun and 20,000 rivets to form the sculptural mass. Patinated finger-prints and hammer marks were left to showcase an earthy texture as viewers move closer to the structure. The copper has been sealed with a matt, clear lacquer to preserve the material’s textural history and retain its rich lustre and reflectivity.