Coffee-fuelled vision for inner city

 COFFEE could be the key to bringing young people back to the Newcastle CBD,   according to architecture student Simeon Grew.

The 24-year-old has won the cash prize of $1000 for his ‘‘Coffee House’’ concept in the Newcastle2020 competition.

The Newcastle City Council-funded initiative asked 12- to 30-year-olds to create a vision for the future of the CBD using skills such as graphic design, art, architecture and photography.

The work of the 14 finalists is on display at the Newcastle Museum until the end of the month.

Mr Grew’s Coffee House, which he designed for the site of the old Lucky Country Hotel on Hunter Street, included a cafe, roasting works with test labs, art studios and exhibitions spaces.

‘‘I see this as a place where coffee is the heart and excuse of all the activity ... a place for artists and musicians to come together and express themselves,’’ he said.

‘‘A centre which fosters and cultivates culture and human interactions.’’

A coffee fan, Mr Grew admitted he was a two to three cups a day man.

He is  finishing his masters degree in architecture and works casually at Suters Architects.

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