© AKME

As the cultural capital of Russia, the streets of St. Petersburg are lined with an abundance of historic landmarks and sights. But the city is far from an open air museum, leaving plenty of room for modern lifestyle to manifest in a plethora of forms. Similar to other leading cities across the planet, coffee culture has firmly taken root here, and downtown St. Petersburg has its fair share of cool coffee parlours where to indulge in artisanal concoctions. The LU.CO. coffee chain, short for Lyudi Kofe or ‘People Coffee’ in plain English, was founded in 2015 by Polina Shelkova and Olya Kulish. Serving a demographic of young and savvy coffee aficionados, the company already managed two takeaway outposts in the city’s Tsentralniy district, but recently added a third outpost in the same area. Situated on ulitsa Mayakovskoga, the newest venue occupies a compact 37 sqm. (398 sq.ft.) unit on the former premises of a store, and is the company’s first full-fledged coffee shop with indoor seating. Setting the bar high for this new momentum, Shelkova and Kulish tapped local architecture practice AKME to create a setting that would resonate well with the fanbase. Much of the original architectural elements, such as the marble flooring, stucco mouldings and the entrance area with its aluminium doors, have not only been retained, but have been prominently embedded in the new setting.

Interestingly, a Soviet era light box at the door has been redesigned and now proudly features a logo designed by graphic designer Anton Gorbunov. Upon entering visitors immediately find themselves in LU.CO.‘s main room with service counter and seating. The latter comprises of a wooden bench lining one side of the wall with round tables attached on sleek stilts. In a way, the aforementioned original aluminium doors anchor the chosen aesthetic as their proportions inspired the design of custom-made steel shelving, and as a material, it been incorporated in the design of the service counter. But that’s not all. The colour of the doors ties in with the back room which is entirely dipped in a golden hue. The effect of colour immersion has also been applied to the design bathroom which unfolds in a contrasting Prussian blue. The design approach of LU.CO. is a meticulous one as no detail has been overlooked and even the ceramic crockery, created by local atelier o.forma, has been carefully sourced. Embracing modern entrepreneurship, Shelkova and Kulish also make sure to use reusable coffee cups and metal straws, and all waste is sorted before being collected. The menu of the new LU.CO. coffee shop lists a range of coffee options, in addition to savoury bites, homemade cakes and pancakes.

LU.CO.
Ulitsa Mayakosvkogo 23/6 (Tsentralniy)
191014 St. Petersburg
Telephone: +7 812 3255550
Mon-Fri 8AM-9PM
Sat-Sun 10AM-9PM

© AKME