Egan’s Coffee Bar & Roof Terrace

August 11, 2008 /

Portlaoise, Ireland

Photo: Josef Burns

Egan's Coffee Bar and Roof Terrace are located in a protected structure, formerly a barber's shop, with a preserved shop front on Main Street.

Other than the shop-front and the view into the coffee bar, there is little evidence of significant changes to the structure from the Main Street.

The building is entered through a cranked passage - treated almost like a geological cleft - that opens out into a small light well. At this point the abrasive perforated steel sheet that impassively lines the passage gives way to a tall, fine-faced concrete screen, braced against an existing high stone wall.

Photo: Josef Burns

From here a concrete stair, integral with the screen, rises up to an external terrace that is oversailed by a folded concrete plate, extending outward from the interior bar area.

Photo: Josef Burns

The roof structure is designed to float or levitate above the external roof terrace. In the bar the ceiling is "cut" into a series of folding ribbons of light where they display as a series of shards at particular viewpoints in the bar. The bar surface, external seat, floor and external stair are all comprised of cast and poured concrete.

Photo: Josef Burns

Photo: Josef Burns

Photo: Josef Burns

Photo: Josef Burns

The language of the external terrace translates into the interior of the coffee bar below, with a focus on casting most elements of furniture.
The mirror strips to the walls condition the space of the coffee bar in so far as the "echo" the previous use of the barber's shop as well as extending the actual space of the bar horizontally in each direction.

Photo: Josef Burns
Photo: Josef Burns

The white concrete bench & solid white oak stools contrast with the central black concrete counter & black light rig, reinforcing the long linear nature of the room. The mirror over the bench reflects the activity of the coffee shop with reference to the barber's that formerly occupied the space.

Drawing courtesy architecture53seven
Ground Floor Plan

Drawing courtesy architecture53seven
First Floor Plan

Drawing courtesy architecture53seven
Cross Section

Drawing courtesy architecture53seven
Longitudinal Section

Facts about Egan’s Coffee Bar & Roof Terrace

Total area:

180 m2


Project Team:

Principal architect:
Jason O Shaughnessy
Eibhlis Byrne
Karen Egan
Jessy Conroy

Main Contractor:



ARUP Consulting Engineers


John Egan
Egan’s hostelry

Last updated: December 19, 2013

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