Dezeen Magazine

Medio Pan cafe in Buenos Aires

Moroni Ciovini and Ana Montero expose textured concrete walls in Buenos Aires shop

Local architecture studio Moroni Ciovini and designer Ana Montero have preserved the exposed layers of concrete wall for this bookstore and café in Buenos Aires.

At just 247 square feet (23 square metres), Medio Pan cafe is just large enough to fit seating, a bar and bookshelves, which are located at the back and front of the store.

A store facade with books held together with bright green elastic
Local studio Moroni++Ciovini and designer Ana Montero have completed a café and bookstore in Buenos Aires

For the shop's interior, Moroni Ciovini (M++C) and Montero created a furniture unit of multilaminate guatambú wood that makes up the shop's seating, bar and posterior bookshelf.

A narrow bench runs along the length of the shop, facing the bar, so that visitors can get a closer look at the barista's work, according to the team.

Open folding doors with books attached
The team preserved the original flooring and textured walls of the space

Storage was integrated below the bench, while small wooden armrests were placed periodically and double as side tables.

The seating runs directly into the bookshelf, which expands over the entrance to storage space at the back of the store. A chainlink fence extends from the top of the bookshelf to meet the ceiling.

A bookstore with light wood furniture
They created a wooden furniture system for the space that consists of seating, a bar and a bookshelf

On the opposite side of the bookshelf, a wider bench takes up the corner, providing a nook for visitors to more "calmly" enjoy a book.

The cafe bar takes up the remaining space, with its front abutting the shop's facade to double as a window counter.

A wooden bench covered with seafoam green cushions
A soft green was used in tiles, paint, and textiles

The team created folding glass doors for the storefront, which can be arranged in a variety of positions. Small shelves were affixed to the doors, which display a changing parade of books held down by neon green elastic and small wooden pins.

According to the team, the folding doors were created to evoke newsstands found throughout Buenos Aires.

The space was completed with soft green highlights, found in backsplash tile, cushioning and pillows that line the wooden seating, a curtain at the back of the store and Formica countertops.

The layers and patterns of the textured concrete walls were kept largely preserved and covered with a transparent coating to display the space's previous uses, while the team also decided to keep the original granite tile as a nod to the building's history.

Wooden bench in front of textured concrete walls
The storefront was informed by newsstands found throughout Buenos Aires

Moroni Ciovini is a Buenos Aires and Valencia-based architecture studio founded by Christian Moroni and Belén Ciovini.

Elsewhere in Buenos Aires, designer Florencia Rissotti recently renovated a warehouse to host a fabric store and architects Julio Oropel and Jose Luis Zacarias Otiñano created a bio-art installation focused on fungi.

The photography is by Fernando Schapochnik

Project credits:

Architecture: Moroni++Ciovini, Ana Montero
Construction: Estudio KO

More images and plans

Medio Pan store axon
Medio Pan store axon
Medio Pan store illustarted axon
A person looking into a bookshop
The facade of a bookstore
Bookshelves with a sink in the middle and a green curtain
A corner with a couch, bookshelves and curtain
A corner with a couch and bookshelves
A wooden bench in front of a concrete wall
A wooden bench
Seafoam green tiles
A cafe bar with seafoam green tiles and formica veneer
A book bound in place with green elastic