In a bustling commercial district of Taipei, Phoebe Says Wow Architects undertook this renovation of Fifteen Steps Workshop Coffee to boost the image and concept of the coffee brand, particularly when it comes to the atmosphere of enjoying coffee in the city.
The site is an 80 square metre former office space located on the corner ground floor of a mixed-use building and located on a well-tread, busy street that leads to the CBD area of Taipei. The architects note that while many coffee shops place their interior at the fore with open plan concepts, the client here wanted his shop to function as a quick serving bar with an on-site roastery. An invite-only space is located behind the scenes.
In line with this, the space is divided to create a semi-open, carved-in area that serves as a standing bar for a quick sip of coffee on the way to the office. The front steps and landing area adjacent to the sidewalks meanwhile welcomes a casual sit-and-drink environment. The layout also takes advantage of its corner location by creating a takeaway window alongside the pedestrian-friendly side lane.
By contrast, the bar working area, the roastery, and the multi-purpose room are invite-only areas that are private yet at the same time not completely blocked. This semi-private nature was achieved by the architect with the use of materials. In particular, polycarbonate panels that serve as spatial dividers offer the desired opaqueness within precisely fabricated painted steel frames. Cupping seminars or lecture programs will be held from time to time with the activity vibes “revealed” to street passer-by via silhouettes and sound which is teasingly contagious.
Given budget and regulation constraints, most areas of the exterior finish were left untouched as a poetic contrast to the modern interventions.