Cafe therapy

Proving that retail and hospitality can feed off each other, the cafe at the centre of this upgraded complex links two retail stores and attracts customers

Slate floors, wood, wall patterns and fittings link architecture, furniture, home, house, interior design, table, wood, white, brown
Slate floors, wood, wall patterns and fittings link this retail store to a cafe. the mirror ball light above the point of sale complements the polished chromes lights hanging above the bar.

When it comes to retail, new strategies and ideas are constantly being sought to keep customers lingering longer. Renting a space near a cafe is one such strategy, offering customers some in-store refreshment is another.

"It's not a new trend for a retailer to offer shoppers a cup of coffee," says Donna Brzezinski from BG Architecture, the firm responsible for transforming this commercial building into both a retail and hospitality venture.

"However, with this refit we fine-tuned the idea, working with the client to design a stand-alone cafe that would attract customers and link the spaces."

Originally the commercial development brief called for a cafe to link two stores and serve staff and customers. But, says Brzezinski, as the full potential to generate and sustain income became more evident, the brief evolved to encompass an after-hours wine bar, serving light dinners.

"This presented a challenge, as the small kitchen was not designed for heavy work," she says.


This commercial refit evolved to incorpirate a hospitality architecture, building, commercial building, facade, mixed use
This commercial refit evolved to incorpirate a hospitality venue. Two retail stores, Pepe Jeans London and Holly & Gus, are linked to Baccadama cafe, witch transitions to a wine bar after hours.

"In particular, commercial-grade exhaust ventilation was necessary to prevent odours from permeating the retail section's clothing."

To make the retail and cafe space complementary, BG Architecture worked with the developer's brand team and retail designers.

"The owner was keen on the 1950s cafe-style furniture lollipop bar stools, chrome fittings and red tones so this also helped inspire the look."

From the cafe entrance, patrons can filter left or right to either boutique, or into the cafe to the bar. The stores also have individual street entrances to disperse foot traffic. A slate floor links the three ground-floor spaces, but internal glass doors separate the retail outlets from the cafe after trading hours.

Other devices, such as the cafe's countertop, which becomes the adjoining retail store's point of sale, connect the spaces. Shared materials and aesthetics also pull the different spaces together.

Shades of red add warmth, while chrome and furniture, interior design, lighting, restaurant, table, black, gray
Shades of red add warmth, while chrome and perspex are reminiscent of a 1950s cafe. The white trespa tile wall with perpex pattern, which conceals a staircase, can be backlit at night.

"Sculptural elements link cafe Boccadama to Holly & Gus, including metallic ceiling fittings, recycled blackbutt wood and the colour red, as seen in the wallpaper and change room carpets," says Brzezinski.

Red also features in the floral pattern of the cube opposite the bar that conceals the staircase to the second floor. The cube consists of white trespa tiles, some of which have cut-out patterns. Backlit at night, it creates a colourful sculptural aesthetic for bar patrons.

Brzezinski says the space between this cube and the bar had to remain wide enough for disabled access, so bar stools were fixed to keep it clear. Having stools, rather than tables and chairs, enhances the atmosphere of bar venue.

To aid the transition from cafe to evening bar the designers opted for warmer colours. Cherry-coloured perspex tiles were combined with oxblood-upholstered leather stools, while the European marble bar's shades of red, yellow, white and black pull together the entire colour scheme.

Sep 28, 2007

Credit list

Architect
BG Architecture
External billboard cladding
Danpalon by Australian Polycarbonate
Hardware
Designer Doorware
Cube wallcovering
Lasercut Trespa wall panelling with clear red perspex, by MP Signs
Paints
Dulux
Bar pendant lights
Studio Italia
Heating and ventilation
Kavgroup
Kitchen equipment
Complete Catering
Construction and shopfitting
Premier Shopfitting and John Greenwood
Window joinery
Premier Shopfitting
Tiling
Slate Discounts
Ceiling
Plasterboard and recycled blackbutt from Delta
Lighting
Lighting Partners Australia
Mirror ball
By Tom Dixon, supplied by DeDeCe
Furniture
Cubus
Signage
MP Signs
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