Bureaux 12 Tosca

Hospitality 2021 Credits
  • Creative Directors
    Maggie Carroll, Jessica Carroll
  • Team Members
    Brooke Bardell Munro, Ella Lilley-Gasteiger, Annis Lee, Joshua Dean

Small but perfectly formed, Tosca, a new espresso bar in the heart of Remuera, is an adaptive reuse project within a character shell.

Despite comfortably seating just twelve people (with room for takeaway traffic in the adjacent lane), Tosca has a much greater role to play in the evolution of the surrounding development, which sees existing brick, character buildings repurposed into a new commercial precinct.

For our client, Tosca, the first completed project, is a flagship for establishing the development's intent, vision and commitment to investing in Remuera’s future heritage.

From the outset, the cafe is a nod to the tradition of heritage shop fronts and Italian walkup espresso. Sited within an arcade that aims to draw foot traffic from Remuera Road through to a new mixed use hospitality precinct behind the building, the cafe has an elegant and transparent frontage, with large bi-fold service windows for takeaway customers.

To establish the sense of aesthetic quality, the material playbook is an assemblage of durable and elegant elements, including brass, fluted cedar, and panelled timber walls that curve into arches and contrast with the characterful stone counter.

The stone was selected for its anchoring weight within the complex shape of the plan – and for its ability to complement the predominantly blush-pink tones of the brand, which are expressed in the velvet upholstery of the built-in banquette, as well as other seating – including the classic Artek stools in the borrowed space of the laneway, colour matched to the exterior’s timber joinery, for takeaway customers can sit and wait.

For many, timber panelling might call to mind the dark and atmospheric French bistro interiors. Here, however, the honeyed lightness of oak and other elements has resulted in an unashamedly feminine aesthetic. Its warmth and familiarity is accentuated by the client’s beautifully chosen crockery and cookware, and, of course, the charm and hospitality of those who work there.