Welcome to our latest project "Noir", a coffee shop that does not currently exist as of yet. This space was a project of ours that brought us great delight over the past month or so. A few requirements such as the wooden circular tables, the hardwood floor, and the brick wall gave us a challenge that we accepted. Since this is only a concept, restrooms, a breakroom/back room, and patio area were not to be determined at this time. In this article, we'll be explaining our methods in designing this space from start to finish, including the original sketch, floorplan, annotations, flow plan, and intention.
Sketch and Thought Process
When we originally thought of a coffee shop, we pictured us as the customer and what we'd like to have in space we frequented; a place to gather with friends, a place to get work done, a place with natural light, an open floor plan with implied thresholds, a place to have a quick bite to eat and interact with our regular barista, and privacy if we didn't feel like being bothered. With all of that in mind, we came up with this quick sketch. Originally, we had the study bar facing the window, an open bar on the backend for the staff, and no community seating. One thing we always kept in mind was to make it accessible for everyone so the aisles are ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant and our seating and doors are placed at an height which everyone can reach or operate.
After viewing the floorplan, we realized we had much more space than we had originally thought. This allowed us to extend the coffee bar towards the windows, add a bar in the middle for extra materials/trash/dishes, and add a community seating section towards the front corner. The community seating was of high importance to us because having a casual place to meet with friends, share a few laughs, and experience good design is something that is tough to accomplish so we knew if we could do this, we'd have a success in our eyes. Take a look at our annotations and flow (aka circulation) plan for a better understanding of how we wanted the customer to experience the space.
We created in what we believe is a great experience that everyone can enjoy. From the introvert/extrovert, to the regular customer that comes in everyday at 8:15 am, to the student, to the business professional... there's something for everyone. From entering the space, you immediately see the coffee bar and barista. The floral wall may be missed upon entry but can't be passed by on the way out. It's specifically placed by the door to announce the entry or main exit of the space and to encourage a great selfie for your Instagram feed.
Once you place your order, there are plenty of options to choose from on where to sit/wait that will suite your needs. In the diagram above, the green arrows represents the many paths one may take; the waiting area, community sitting, open booths, or private booths. For dine-in customers, the pick-up for orders is located on the right end of the bar. For to-go orders, they can be picked up on the left end of the bar while the middle of the bar is reserved for those who wish to eat while being part of the mix and doesn't mind the extra company. The isles narrow to encourage forward movement and widen where there can be some gathering.
If you can remember from the sketch, we originally had an open bar on the backend. After mulling it over, we thought it would be too accessible for customers who don't acknowledge professional boundaries, therefore we placed a glass divider to seperate the two spaces. This allows the staff to see who may need something and for the customer to still feel close to what's happening, especially if they're waiting for the rest of their party.
Air quality is of major importance to us as well. Since there is technically no patio area, we wanted to bring the outdoors indoors by placing artificial boxwood hedges on the back wall (also making for great images), placing plants in the middle of the space and by each open seating bench, placing plants by the entrance, placing an essential oil diffuser on each divider, and having an air purifier behind the coffee bar.
Last but not least, we wanted to include inspiring decor for those who desired to explore the space. Around the coffee shop are books, magazines, cameras, and art by a new artist each month.
Noir was a lovely and seriously exciting project that we feel great about. Our style showed throughout the space and we couldn't be happier. From the pops of unexpected color to the mix of different styles to hitting all of the requirements we felt outlined a great space for both mental & physical health. If you agree, let us know about it! We'd love to hear feedback. In the meantime, enjoy the rest of the images of Noir, our coffee shop design concept. See you next time!