Coffee and the Enviromnent – Adaptive Reuse

July 3, 2009 § 1 Comment

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I live in a neighborhood in Smyrna, GA that has been undergoing changes for the good. Younger and more dynamic crowd moving in, better community participation, proposed new schools in the future, redevelopment, rehabilitation and all words nice and sweet in terms of urban planning. The area is changing and so is the attitude of the people. The place is basically getting a makeover. My friend another Architect in training, meet now and then and talk about… “Whats going on in town kinda things…” We both love architecture and have numerous conversations about the built environment.

I was introduced by her to this Coffee shop called ‘Rev’. This is a small store tucked away in one of the corners of a not so popular street.  The moment I stepped into the place I loved it and said to myself… This place is ‘ Revving the neighborhood’. This was initailly a garage for car repairs and is now a coffee shop. Adaptive Reuse !! (More description will follow after i meet with Nick the Owner of ‘Rev’). What would be a better topic to start my first blog post. Yepeee!  I was totally excited and wasted.

 I emailed Nick and said, Id like to write about ‘Rev’ in my first blog entry. Nick and I are scheduled to meet next week. i am excited and will get as many details and pictures about this place.

July 9th, 3pm – My Meeting with Nick at Rev.



Meet Nick the proud owner of ‘Rev’. Nick is the owner/ manager of Rev. A tall friendly guy with this great big smile. He’s been around Smyrna since a long time now and decided to set up shop with his wife Jenn who helps him with accounting. Originally the property where Rev sits, is 20 years old. Intially functioned as a Mercedes Car Repair Garage. The original owner spent too much time and money in Starbucks and decided to have his own coffee place. He decided to use the garage property as it wasn’t doing very well at that time. He revamped the place, made it look more spacious, threw in a bunch of comfortable couches and some awesome looking sculptures made from recycled scrap, (The sculpture artist is Robert Harrison. I will be writing about his works very soon), added some interior walls painted  bright red and comfy green. The flooring had to be filled in order to conceal the tracks used for car repairs. (I dont exactly know the technical term for it). The sunlight naturally pours into the insides from the oversized doors that once served as  the openings for the garage where MB’s rolled in for repair. Now, what he didnt touch was the shell. the roof, the walls, the windows and the overhead door. It is truly an amazing strategy to retrofit what is already existing  and avoid additional energy consumption and release carbon into the atmosphere. There are several buildings like this, that can be retrofitted and repurposed to serve as a totally different function. This strategy not only conserves resources but also preserves history.

“Adaptive Reuse is the term given to the retrofitting and repurposing of existing buildings to minimize new construction while maximizing energy conservation in the satisfaction of our demand for space”… -Kirsten Ritchie, Gensler

People, i love this place. Not only is the place great but it is also a hub for artists, musicians and people like Jay, a regular at Rev.

Jay, A regular at Rev

Jay, A regular at Rev

 This place is thriving, helping the community and a great place for the young crowd that is changing the face of the neighborhood. Rev uses only paper cups and encourages it’s customers to use mugs if they prefer sitting indoors. Rev offers organic Tea and Coffee that are Fair Trade.  Overall it was interesting meeting Nick and his enthusiasm in contributing to the neighborhood. He said business was fantastic  and he loves serving his customers a hot cuppa everyday.

 Thank you for reading this article. I welcome comments and constructive criticism. I am on the look out for more places like Rev and people like Nick, bringing a communtiy together. I am trying to do “Gardens in the Backyard”  for next month. Watch this Space!



§ One Response to Coffee and the Enviromnent – Adaptive Reuse

  • Deeps says:

    Yams, such a charming coffe shop! If I was in Smyrna, I would’ve immediately made my way to Rev. Great job writing about it. I learned something new – ‘Adaptive Reuse’. Interesting and informative read, Yams….

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