A social print and copy shop in the Buitenhof district in Delft: Kopie Koffie (Copy Coffee). Professional printing services, good coffee, and a social function for the neighbourhood. Layout, décor and ambiance had to contribute to the social enterprise. The operations, house-style and spatial interventions were treated as connected elements: a design process for social impact.
The design process and execution of the business plan went hand-in-hand. The layout possibilities are flexible with dynamic in the space for coffee or copying and public or production capacities. This includes a space for a to-go counter.
A constant question was what the minimum viable product was to begin with without restricting future growth opportunities.
Chopinlaan 377, Delft, Nederland
Hanneke Stenfert, Pieter Graaff
A Copy and a Chat
People come to the print shop for a variety of reasons; a copy of an important document for an important moment in their or to make a print of something created thoughtfully and with love. The shop is a workspace for the owner and the visitor. Waiting, looking at and listening to what happens around you is part of that.
The ambition of Kopie Koffie is to increase the social function of the print shop by combining it with a coffee bar. This allows people from different backgrounds – each with their own motivations – to spend time there and to become familiar with one another.
Founder Harmen van der Laan quit his job as drinking water technologist in favour of meaningful work for his community . “We want to become the Tony Chocolonely of print work,” says van der Laan. The goal is to create jobs for neighbours who are distanced from the labour market and, most importantly, to offer a place where people can be seen.
The business plan, phases and spatial design had to be in harmony to give Kopie Koffie a running start with room to adjust and improve. It began with mapping out the local market and neighbourhood to allow changes in approach and layout where needed. This adaptability required a flexible plan and simple, direct spatial intervention that made Kopie Koffie at the very least visible and recognisable.
The existing building, with its shed roof, consists of a one larger space facing the street with auxiliary spaces on the north and west sides. The two entries ensure a clear routing where the coffee and print services aren’t competing for space.
The routing still allows for informal mixing of the two functions. Copies can be made on self-service machines under the windows in the coffee space; papers can be organised on a worktable in among the café tables.
Approachability is essential for an accessible design. The layout makes use of the structure of the building, with its two entries and two roof typologies. There are two yellow counters – for printing and for the café, that bring the concept Kopie Koffie to life. The production space for printing is separate from the kitchen. At the same time, the tables and copy machines share space in the public portion of the building.
Open Kaart delivered both a perspective for the future and the first steps for the realisation of the project. Once the overall framework was established, walls could be demolished, cans of paint ordered and the layout of the kitchen decided.
The social enterprise received a capital boost as winner of Dragons Den from NCOD. This provided both recognition and financial space to professionalise the organisation.
Kopie Koffie is a place where residents come together naturally, where they become trusted and approachable for each other. A print shop with social impact.