We came back to Cat Caffe Zagreb to catify the main indoor area. The project aimed to create a modern and colorful escape for the cats, where they could have a secure area to rest and play. The clients wanted to provide their cats with ample room on the highest levels, a safe place to wind down away from the reach of the guests.
Before the renovation, the place was dreary and dark, with not much natural light and with carpeted cat furniture that was hard to maintain. We had to think of something that would work great for cats, that would light up the space and would be inviting to a younger generation.
The project was prolonged by quarantines, earthquakes and revolved around the renovation of the space. The main change was the new epoxy floor, bright pink with sprinkles of gold flakes. The walls were redone and the bar area was covered with PU greenery. That was all the starting point of the design. When we saw the potential of the space and embraced some new materials, the design was clear.
We wanted to create a uniform aesthetic throughout the space and make it feel green and light so plants became an integral part of the design. We opted for the fake plants, because the cats would devour everything green, as it was the middle of winter and their beautiful summer terrace wasn't filled with cat grass and cat-friendly plants yet.
The clients picked the custom colors for the design, 2 shades of pink and 2 shades of green that would complement the wood and would work best with the new floor and feature wall. Two new fabrics were chosen to match the color choices and we were ready to start playing around with the elements to create the optimal layout.
The space has some weirdly shaped elements on the ceiling that we needed to work around. Our first drafts did not account for all the weirdly shaped elements, so we redid the initial draft and overcame the obstacles. There wasn't a straight line to connect all three ceiling platforms so we made a few adjustments and one of the bridges was made with a Solo-Solo mount to make the best out of the awkward angle.
As the cafe is located in a 100 year old building, the walls are a mixture of concrete, brick, and mostly covered with plasterboard, so we used a different kinds of wall plugs to fasten the items up. The ceiling was our main concern, especially as we didn't exactly know what was underneath. It needed to carry tens of kilos of weight and account for the additional forces created by jumping off of or onto the ceiling elements. To solve this, We've put additional holes in Tunnel mounting plates for a total of 6 and because of the shoddiness of the plasterboard ceiling, not all holes were carrying their weight properly, but in the end with using some longer screws to get to the concrete core part, it held its weight perfectly.
The weight was evenly distributed and the plugs we've used are made to hold much more weight than needed. Once secured, it didn't budge and we were happy with the results. Ceilings are always a concern, you always need to investigate what is there and what kind of force can it handle. Luckily, there's a solution to every problem and a wall plug and anchor for intended use, and since our items are made out of solid hard plywood, you can always add holes to customize it to your placement.
The space has a great nook overlooking the street and it was essential that we made that space available for the cats. As it was the only source of natural light, it needed to be lightly filled with elements. Nothing cramped in that small space and nothing that would block the light coming in. We made an airy solution so that the people could look at the cats and the caffe bar from the outside and the cats could lay there, soaking up the sun and staring back at the people.
Cat Nook 4 beds, 3 bridgeWe opted for a combination of 4 custom-fitted Wally Corner Tunnels and 3 Wally Wide Bridges in custom lengths. We put the Tunnels on the side walls of the nook and connected them with bridges. This way the light could come in through the tunnels and the nook area came alive when we put in the green grass-covered bridges.
The Tunnels and WideBridges created multi-leveled walkways around the edges of the nook and in the middle of the nook we put a giant, floor-to-ceiling Mounty post, specially designed to fit the space. The tunnels and the wide bridges were covered in PU outdoor grass to enhance the green appeal of the space and to give cats some soft bearing beneath their paws. The grass also serves as a cushion, as we opted for a thick and soft kind and the cats just adore lounging on wide bridges and looking outside. It might just be the best space we've given to them.
We wanted to provide the cats with multiple access routes for the wall furniture so they have an option to climb over the 2 giant Mounty poles or to jump from tables onto the lower levels. We measured out the space so that it would be easy to maneuver on multiple levels and so that the cats wouldn't be bothered with other cats wanting to walk over them. Every cat could find a route to get up, down, or around the hall. We placed hammocks and beds on the various route ends and ensured that there are enough high places for all the cats in the space. In the end, most of the cats picked a favorite item that was just theirs, on the right height and with the right view. The eldest cat took the Tunnel Mini shelf in the middle, to give us all a heads up that we're all in her space. Younger cats zoomed around her and picked places that could house 2 cats at once, as some youngsters are the sharing kind and love nothing more than to cuddle with their buddies. The solitary types took places at the far ends, up top, and with only one exit.
The main wall was painted in a green reflective color and envisioned as a feature visible as soon as you enter the room. This made it ideal for the larger BigCat version of shelves from the bolder Sharp collection, delivering a lot of dynamic shapes to the main view. The tunnels in Big Cat sizes were mounted on the higher levels and in the middle we placed a BigCat Sharp Stacker unit, as it was the best solution for the narrow space on the center column of the wall. Big Cat Tunnel and Tunnel Mini were spaced adjacent to the Sharp Stacker and they were off-centered to accommodate the various elements we made to wrap around the sticking-out columns.
We used two kinds of corner units to wrap around and in the space. The left side has a column sticking out so we made a wrap-around version of our Wally Flat shelves, while the right side has a normal corner in which we fit our standard Wally Combo Corner shelf and attached a long bridge on it, to connect it to a nook area.
The left wall is a mix of smaller units, two Wally Tunnel Mini's, two BigCat Flat Plus beds, a cot bed, and specially designed steps that also serve as flower pot holders. The far left was reserved for a 2m tall Mounty Chonk pole connecting the walls to the ceiling Tunnel platform beginning the highest part of the layout.
The ceiling-mounted Tunnel Top is connected with a large Wide Bridge to the Wally Top platform placed in the middle of the gap space on the ceiling. The line continues with a WideBridge connected to the Top and another Upside-down Tunnel with Solo mounts. All the items on that level are covered with lush green PU grass and the cats seem to love it.
The new space is truly light now, with soft shadows and light bouncing back on the epoxy floor. The greenery added depth to the space and invites people in, into a modern jungle oasis right in the middle of a bustling street. Unfortunately, current COVID-19 measures do not allow indoor activity for the guests, as all activities are only permitted on the outdoor terrace. But the colors invite people in and they can look at it all for a moment or two while passing through to the terrace at the far end. Hopefully, we could all enjoy cats and our favorite beverages in the indoor areas soon.