FeatureHeaven on a Plate

A Garden Amid the Chaos | Kahve

Text by Tamrin Afroz

The garden cafe Kahve is located at the centre of Banani, one of the buzzing zones of Dhaka city. To give a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, Kahve offers a place to relax the mood and unwind from the hectic work hours. Mainly focusing on young corporates and teenagers as they like to roam in places that offer outdoor breathing space in the middle of urban chaos, the cafe gives you a homely backyard feeling.

Kahve mainly offers coffee and desserts along with a variety of drinks. But if anyone wants, they can also have food like pizza or pasta. Initially, the site was a fashion brand outlet and the backyard was unused with muddy ground and piled up rubbish. The design aspect took this as an opportunity and utilized the space while transforming it into a garden. Kahve awaits to give a warm welcome to the people where they can de-stress themselves.  

The cafe’s interior design is not designed by any professional; instead, it is the combined outcome of all the owners’ different ideas. The owners Md Tausif Rahman, Md Maruf Billah, Khwaja Mohammad Hamza and Kashshaf Labeeb wanted to have an attachment to their brainchild, so they opted to design the space with their ideas and expertise, which was a challenge. All have been discussed and handpicked, from wall fixtures to the plants.

The space effectively uses emerald colours that create a greener environment, which is the goal of the design concept.

The cafe with the garden-like setting wants to offer a serene experience to its users in the middle of an energetic area like Banani. “It’s a struggle for the Dhaka residents to find an open green space within the city area, away from metropolis noises, to spend time with the closed ones while enjoying good coffee and food. Hence, we planned to offer a cafe with a natural garden which makes Kahve stand out from the other cafes”, Tousif Rahman explains.

The plan layout of the cafe is a game; as you enter the address, you can see there is a garden waiting for you. When you go indoors, it hits you with an aroma of fresh coffee, as the coffee-making station is located at the very first zoning of the cafe. As one keeps walking through the indoors, they reach the main surprise of the space: the outdoor seating at the end of the indoors. While designing the space, existing trees were kept untouched as much as possible, and new shrubs and small plants were incorporated with the old ones, bringing the flavour of a mature garden. Every week new small plants are sowed. The furniture and various materials used in the design are locally sourced.

The lighting aspect also plays a meaningful role in setting the ambience, especially after the sunset. Indoor lighting is comparatively bright to compliment the outdoor lighting, which has a dim light setting. When the natural light starts to go down, slowly turn on the outdoor lights to set the mood. Few spotlights have been positioned to highlight a few plants that create indirect light and soothe the aura.

Owners of Kahve

Covid was the biggest challenge, as right after the place was decided to be used, the first lockdown was declared. But this grabbed as an opportunity and utilized the time for constructing the site. They used the time by constructing the outdoor porch area, as it was muddy along with the indoor zone. The owners wish to take this project forward by bringing out more branches that may be out of Dhaka. a someday.

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