Located in a double-height, cathedral-like space, Lackawanna Coffee Shop is designed as an inviting refuge housed within compelling, original architecture. Utilizing these inherent characteristics, the space’s transformation hinged on touches of warmth, and custom expressions of color, shape, and material throughout.

Four massive, concrete columns root the ground-floor interiors, supporting the high-rise residential building above. Those columns are wrapped in curved, bulging extrusions of Glass Fiber Reinforced Gypsum (an innovative approach to the construction product’s usage). Centered in the space is a custom communal, 8-foot-diameter peach resin table, whose form is reminiscent of a speech bubble – a tacit encouragement toward sociality.

The coffee shop’s ordering station is a 24-foot-long bar made of teal resin, foregrounding the kitchen’s deep red millwork and stainless-steel counters beyond. On top of the ordering station is a custom, pink-gradient illuminated pastry display case, which sits beside a curved door disguising a beverage cooler within. Also adjacent to the point of sale are three large, backlit, blue resin shelves, corrugated on the underside to harken to the space’s industrial aesthetic provenance. This and other various pops of color and moments of texture polish off the contemporary, cozy atmosphere of this community café.

Client: Lackawanna Coffee Shop

Program: Retail, Food Service

Status: Built

Size: 1,000 SF

Location: Jersey City, NJ

Architect/Designer: Inaba Williams
Millwork, Shelves, Displays, Resin, Table, Column Fabrication: KM,A (Kyle May, John Diven, Cameron Kursel)

Images: Credit Naho Kubota