The project is about designing a new micro roasted Ethiopian coffee shop in the Northern Manhattan neighborhood. The existing structure, located in a one-story commercial building, included some fine architectural details, like the well-preserved skylight, the tin ceiling, and the steel-structured storefront window, all of which we decided to maintain and take as the starting point in our design proposal.

We were asked to create a welcoming, contemporary space, for a New York City cafe, which would act also as a local hot-spot for communal gatherings, events, etc. The main architectural challenge was to create a comfortable space, in a relatively small space, with seating, merchandise, and take-away area.

Our concept considers the two main functions inside the coffee shop -serving and seating area, as the main spatial elements of design. Thus, we propose the counter and the bench to be designed  as two linear structures, developing in two parallel lines, and ending in two subtle, mirroring curves. This results in creating the main, central area of the coffee shop, right underneath the skylight; the focal point of the coffee shop, where the client can wait for being served, or the main open area, where gatherings would take place, is diffused with natural light from above. Selection of materials include African rosewood, a reddish wood of fine quality, preserved steel structure details, and white marble top for coffee table finishes.


status preliminary design
program coffee shop
area 500sf
location Upper Manhattan, New York City
team Eleni Livanis, Chrysostomos Theodoropoulos (architects)

year 2012