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February 1, 2018

BCJ designing cafes for growing Blue Bottle chain

Photo by Matthew Millman/Bohlin Cywinski Jackson [enlarge]

A Blue Bottle Coffee cafe designed by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson has opened in San Francisco's South Park neighborhood in the storefront of a former Kohler warehouse.

The 1,200-square-foot cafe is light-filled and deliberately minimal, with a design that elevates the original brick walls and wood support columns, and enhances the connection to the bustling streets of the neighborhood, BCJ said in press release.

Floating wooden boxes greet customers, creating shadows and sunlight in the space; bags of coffee and serveware are nestled within the framework, creating an eye-catching merchandise display, the architect said. Warm wood, pale blue walls and concrete flooring complement the company's branding and its coffee making.

New features include an iced coffee bar and the company's first-ever Mavam espresso machine. Other coffee-making equipment is in a stainless steel and birch plywood bar. Patrons sit on solid ash benches, and banquettes along the windows.

The South Park space is one of several cafes designed by BCJ that Blue Bottle has opened in the Bay Area, Boston, Miami, New York and Washington, D.C.

The coffee company has developed from a handful of small cafes, the architect said, to an expanded network over the last 15 years.

“Their interest in maintaining the unique characteristics of each space, and using humble but beautifully detailed materials, is consistent with our interests in making great places for people,” said Greg Mottola, design principal from Bohlin Cywinski Jackson's San Francisco office.

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