A new 1,000sf “pocket bar/cafe” for Octane Coffee in a former box-office space of the Woodruff Arts Center and High Museum of Art. The exceptionally narrow interior was further attenuated by adding mirrored ceilings to double the apparent height, and mirroring the back of alcoves to visually dissolve the interior walls, creating a deeply exterior spatial experience. Lighting and signage are combined in the form of suspended neon arcs, which when mirrored create large floating O’s (for Octane). In contrast to this airiness, booths and bench areas are rendered quiet, close, and comfortable, lined with plywood and neoprene-laminated felt. This noticeably intimate acoustic quality is an experiential extension of the symphony hall and theaters that are part of the Arts Center.
Design ChallengeTwo primary challenges we the very narrow and tall interior interior, and creating an independent identity to attract for the coffee shop/bar within an established institution but without the ability to modify the exterior architecture. The Project Description addresses our response to the space constraints, through use of select mirrored surfaces. Creating an appropriate identity for Octane within the Arts Center, was primarily achieved through the custom neon lighting and signage, as well as the attention to transform the acoustic experience within the booths. Our only ability to affect the exterior was through painting of the metal panels and windowwall components - to create a contrast to the whiteness of the rest of the Woodruff's architecture.
Physical ContextSee previous descriptions.