Dutch architecture and design agencies Bureau SLA and Overtreders W have built a coffee shop entirely with materials bought on the second-hand market.

The Noorderparkbar coffee shop lies in the Noorderpark park in north Amsterdam, and since being completed in March has become a meeting place for residents from surrounding neighbourhoods.

The architects and designers from the two companies didn't only design and build the coffee shop, they were also the initiators, fundraisers and traders, and think it was this bottom-up approach that made the project so successful, despite the general poor state of the Dutch construction industry because of the recession.

The main construction of the coffee shop consists of three stripped-down units originally intended for a temporary hospital. The unit containing the bar area and public toilets was given new facades made of windows and a roof made of skylights. The other two units were stacked on top of each other and became the terrace in front of the main unit. The pavilion has also had wooden shutters fitted, to prevent it being vandalised at night. The traditional Japanese wood charring method shou sugi ban was used on the wood for shutters, making them more durable.

All the materials for the building were resourced on marktplaats.nl (the Dutch equivalent to eBay). The first item bought was a second-hand lorry, for transporting the materials from all over the country. After that came the three stripped-down hospital units, 42 windows, a few thousand metres of wood, 55ltrs of paint, two toilets, ceramic tiles in white and green, and many other smaller items.

If you understand Dutch, then here is a blog about building the coffee shop and stories on the origins of the materials used, as told by the suppliers.