ADD

Bourbon Coffee Shop

Location: Athens-Hlioupoli

Eleftheriou Venizelou 94 str., Athens, Greece

Project Duration: Oct. 2019 - March. 2020

Concept: Concept Coffee Shop

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The characteristics of the existing space - the marginal sufficient square meters, its almost square ratio as well as its large free height - immediately influenced the basic design principles.

The basic design gesture is expressed spatially through the division of the square into two dynamic acute triangles which correspond to the programmatic scenario of the space. The first triangle concerns the visitors and the input and output flows. The spatial implementation of this triangle is carried out through the creation of an internal arcade of steel hollow 30X30mm beams that act as lighting lines.

The second interior triangle is realized through the creation of an internal facade-bench-shelf which separates the workspace and workshop from the free space of the visitors. The gestures above constitute part of the basic spatial strategy of "intensification" of perspective, through dynamic triangles, with the ultimate goal being that of an illusion: the creation of a space that “visually” seems larger than it really is.

The basic materials used are: steel coated in white paint, ​​birch plywood, irregular style grey plaster on walls as well as artificial lighting which in this particular project was treated as the fourth "material", highlighting the structural part of the design while intensifying the viewer’s perspective.

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The visitor enters through the two openings of the facade. The left opening, which also serves as the main passage, consists of sliding glass panes, so that it may be completely "set aside" remaining open throughout the day, thus unifying the interior with the outdoor space. The movement of the visitor is guided by the angled positioning of the counter as well as by the geometry of the inner arcade. As he or she enters, the over imposed triangle welcomes him or her and gradually draws him/her inwards as the framework of the structure narrows progressively following an acute angle from floor to ceiling.

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The workbench as well as the elongated shelf above it form an internal “façade” that follows the movement of the visitor and is divided into three zones in height. The first is suspended from the ceiling by 30X30 steel mullions and functions as part of the coffee storage. The second zone serves as a viewing and service gap and the third zone consists of the workbench. This tripartite organization is characterized by verticality, although it extends longitudinally throughout the whole of the available space of the plan. The bench cladding made by corrugated steel-sheet is placed vertically, as also are the mullions of the shelf in suspension. This leads to a definite separation of the two areas of the store while it also strengthens the dual role of the “internal façade”: it is a complex piece of furniture that emits light, becomes the basis for product display and storage while at the same time "stands" as a plane that may undertake product placement and advertising panels at a later stage.

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Τhe counter as well as the preparation and brewery space are located inside the second triangle. This triangle is divided irregularly as shown in the floor plan in order to cover the needs resulting from the specialized equipment and isolation. The separation filter between the two program modules was formed through the extrusion of this irregular separation line in space. Its materiality of bronze glazed glass panes contributes to the theatricality of the space, as it does not completely isolate the brewery due to its semi-transparency but offers a visible "suspicion" of a space that the visitor perceives yet is not directly perceivable. The game of light and shadow coming through the glazed glass caused by the artificial lighting of the brewery, acquires a surreal character and turns something trivial into an aesthetic element of the solution.

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The last element of analysis concerns the frame of the roof. The structure resembles that of a "herringbone" with its backbone being the common edge of the two triangles, implemented by steel 30x30 mullions at a right angle to each other. The mullions on the “visitor’s” side act as receptors for led tapes boxed inside glazed plexiglass profiles while spot rails are hung between the framework’s intervals. The aforementioned “arcade" is formed as the horizontal elements of the roof framework become vertical as soon as they reach the perimeter walls of the space. Therefore, as the visitor walks through a bright arcade the feeling of "enclosure" is achieved. The wc volume is placed at the converging point of the two triangles and constitutes the stopping point of the converging perspective visual lines, the vantage point’. On the other side - the workstation- the framework acts as the skeleton for the formation of a false ceiling made by perforated steel-sheet inside which the E / M infrastructure of the store is boxed. Therefore, form follows function and vice versa. The perforated steel-sheet material element "entertains" the sense of "weight" caused by the volume of the suspended ceiling thanks to its semi-permeable surface. 

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The separation of the two triangles in plan view is reflected in a different choice in the coloring of the flooring with white granite tile in the guest area and black in the workplace and preparation.

The facade of the store acts as a viewing frame of the interior. The opening on the right side was shaped as a more discreet -than the left - element of communication between the inside and the outside. A glass entrance door as well as a guillotine window with a  are the elements of dialogue with the passer-by. The lighting of the façade in the form of a thin discreet frame encloses the property boundary and intensifies the intention to form a frame for the interior.

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