Arcsine Architecture have transformed a dull and dated retail space with green carpet, beige walls, and drop ceilings, into a contemporary coffee shop named Modern Coffee, located in Oakland, California.
The designer’s description
Architecture and interior design firm, Arcsine, transformed an existing 900-square-foot split level vacant retail space into Modern Coffee, a popular, local, multi-roaster’s second location in downtown Oakland, aiming to seamlessly convert the space into a contemporary coffee shop.
Since the space sits on a significant slope, the design team was challenged with finding a way to configure the coffee shop to maximize space and functionality.
The result was the introduction of stairs, creating a split level layout that seamlessly integrates the upper and lower areas of the store.
The design team was also tasked with finding unique solutions to place floor drains or hang lighting fixtures as the floors and ceilings are made of thick concrete and beams making it difficult to drill through.
The site, previously a lacklustre retail store in the historic Leamington building, had multiple entrances so Arcsine had to work out how people would navigate and interact within the small space.
Using a simple palette of alder wood and steel, the design team installed long wood counters, wrapping the store, and an open service area with a pick-up counter to provide clean lines and open up the space.
Accenting the raw materials and black, white and red color palette, a graphic tile installation along the front of the store creates visual interest and draws the eye in from the street.
Long tubes of fluorescent lighting zig-zag across the ceiling, which, along with mounted wire sculptures by a local fabricator and framed art by local artists, creates a sense of playfulness within the space. The firm also commissioned a local graphic artist to hand paint the signage within the shop.
Beyond serving coffee and snacks, the client’s goal was to showcase and offer customers a curated selection of the best coffees, teas and goods from some of the best purveyors in the country, so the designers incorporated retail elements around the store to display merchandise.
The end result is a modern space inspired by the local culture and owner’s passion for coffee, from which customers can sip coffee, informally meet with colleagues or people watch.