Benesse Coffee & Kitchen

Project Category: Cafe Fitout

Builder: Devlyn Constructions

Completion Date: 2011


Benesse Coffee & Kitchen is a well-established cafe located in a beautiful heritage listed building on Bunbury’s iconic cafe strip. Merge had worked with Benesse previously to create a refreshed, funky image when the new owner took over the business. Due to the gaining popularity of the cafe and the size restrictions of the quaint heritage-listed space, it was proving difficult to keep up with the high demand of the busy cafe.

When an adjacent 25sqm tenancy became available at the rear of the existing cafe, the owner approached Merge to produce a full design, documentation and decoration package to fully address all of their requirements and see the project through from start to finish.

Inspired by the character of the building’s architecture, Merge came up with an eclectic design aesthetic with a focus on creating a welcoming, warm and cosy atmosphere. This was achieved through the extensive use of textured rustic timber, deep moody greys, feature pressed tin wall cladding and industrial lighting providing a warm glow over the whole interior.

The client brief focused on improving the functionality of the kitchen and the coffee-making facilities as these were the most important areas for the cafe. The rear tenancy was designated as a large commercial kitchen, dry store, office & cleaning storage. The existing front tenancy was totally refurbished with a new streamlined service counter providing a much more spacious and functional area for producing coffee, as well as incorporating more loungey built-in bench seating and espresso bars to increase seating numbers. A large timber slat enclosure was designed as a feature over the front counter, providing some privacy & also to break up the large space. Merge liaised with the Heritage Council, the Bunbury City Council & the Landlord to ensure compliance with all parties throughout the design process.

Scope of Works

  • Initial space planning & feasibility study
  • Full interior design services: layout design, feature design elements, built-in cabinetry design, full commercial kitchen design and signage design.
  • All interior selections: paint, cabinetry finishes, lighting, furniture, soft furnishings, flooring
  • Full working drawings & specifications
  • Liaising with Heritage Council, building surveyor & health department to ensure compliance with all regulations
  • Obtained Council Approvals
  • Oversaw the construction stage to ensure compliance with design