Verdant foliage, handmade tiles and wooden decor give rise to a Colombian-infused atmosphere in this urban cafe, created by LOT Office for Architecture for boutique coffee roaster Devoción.
The Devoción coffeeshop is located in downtown Brooklyn, at the base of a new high-rise luxury apartment building. It marks the third outpost for the small-scale coffee roaster, established in 2006 by Colombia native Steven Sutton. The company has additional locations in Bogotá and Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighbourhood.
The new shop, which encompasses 1,700 square feet (158 square metres), is meant to evoke the spirit of Colombia, which is where the company procures all of its fair-trade beans. One of the cafe’s most distinctive elements in a raised concrete “island” that is surrounded by 35 different species of plants, from starfruit trees to fish tail palms. Windows that rise 18 feet (5.4 metres) usher in natural light, helping ensure the lush vegetation can thrive inside.
Beyond the central seating platform, the cafe features flooring made of yellow tiles, imprinted with white circles and black diamonds. Walls are faced with white bricks that are arranged in a way that forms square openings. Both the tiles and bricks were influenced by vernacular design in Colombia.
“The garden’s aesthetic is complemented by typical Colombian handmade cement tile flooring and white brick-lined walls – both an abstract reflection of a traditional Colombian farm,” said LOT Office for Architecture Design, which has studios in New York and Greece.
Lining one side of the cafe is a 26-foot-long (eight-metre) counter with wooden panels and a black marble top. On view is custom equipment used to create a range of coffee drinks made with fresh beans.
“Devoción sets itself apart from the growing coffee business by flying their single source beans from Bogotá to the Williamsburg roasting facility weekly, enabling the company’s coffee to go from ‘origin-to-roaster-to-cup’ in as little as ten days,” said the team.
Much of the decor in the Brooklyn cafe was fabricated by Colombian craftsmen. There is a range of seating options, from little wooden stools to leather lounge chairs. Simple lighting fixtures, shaped as either discs or globes, are suspended from the ceiling, where ductwork was left exposed. The cafe also features wooden display cases, with bags of coffee, brewing devices, and other items up for sale.
LOT not only conceived this cafe, but is also helping the company envision other locations. Informal seating, a warm material palette, and the presence of nature are key elements in the firm’s designs.
“At this new context, as well as with future Devoción locations under development, LOT is defining the architectural aesthetic of the expanding brand with elements that give life to the unique cafe concept and the company’s Colombian origin,” said the studio.
LOT was founded in 2012 by Leonidas Trampoukis and Eleni Petaloti. The studio recently teamed up with Objects of Common Interest to create a series of experimental furniture for the VIP lounge at New York’s Collective Design fair, which was held in March.
Photography is by Brooke Holm.
Architect and interior designer: LOT Office for Architecture
Architect of record: Harry Gaveras
Project team: Vincent Meyer Madaus (project leader), Leonidas Trampoukis (partner in charge), Eleni Petaloti, Anastasia Maggouta
Lighting design: MAP Design Studio
Plant designer: Plant Wall Design
Owner: Devocion USA