This client serves as a retail outlet for a Bay Area institution and a leader in fine coffee on the West Coast of the United State of America. Their mission is to provide a workshop to explore, experiment, and embrace the trends of the coffee industry.
After finding success in the space we designed for them in the Mission District, our client wished to have a presence in downtown San Francisco. Used for storage prior, the existing space in the heart of the Financial District was small (under 500 square feet) with no distinctive architectural features, save tall ceilings and a full height glass storefront.
The main goal for the shop was to provide epicurean level coffee at a rate and speed that could meet the Financial District's demands: a slow food experience in an extremely fast paced environment. To best meet this demand, it was determined that a higher barista count was more important than seating.
The number of materials was kept to a minimum so as to not overwhelm the small space. Standard 4x8 sheets of pre-finished maple plywood were chosen for its warmth and low cost for the ceiling and walls. The base cabinets are clad in a porcelain tile that was precisely chosen to match the concrete floors. These two main materials meet at the counter, drawing your eye to the artistry that takes place there.
Conceptually, the wood ceiling and walls drape down to the white counter, almost as a proscenium frames a stage. This gesture highlights the 14' plus ceiling height of the space and takes advantage of the expansive storefront. The staggered, high-efficiency light fixtures create a glowing wood shell --read through the building's colonnade-- that serves as a beacon to pedestrians.