Only If—

is a New York City-based design practice for architecture and urbanism.

Voyager Espresso

Voyager Espresso

Located in a subway concourse in the Financial District, the design proposes a single coherent organization for the space based upon two circles: a counter for the Barista Station (“Mission Control”) and a niche for banquette seating (the “Grotto”). The Barista Station can be read as a positive volume, whereas the Grotto can be read as negative volume excavated from the surrounding walls.

In contrast to the artisanal aesthetic of contemporary coffee culture, the coffee shop’s design refers to the namesake spacecraft and scientific approach behind Voyager Espresso. The material palette also seeks to avoid the clichéd language of white tile, reclaimed wood, and exposed Edison bulbs. The walls are clad in OSB, which is transformed through the application of aluminum enamel paint. Work surfaces consist of black marble countertop, which plays off the texture of the walls. Elsewhere, perforated aluminum, copper, and black rubber are used. The cumulative effect is inexpensive yet futuristic.

Practically, the layout consolidates the storage and back of house at the rear of the space, and maximizes visibility of Voyager Espresso along its glass storefront to the subway concourse. The layout creates a variety of different social settings for seating; from individual to collective, and from intimate to exposed.

Selected Press and Publications

The New Yorker

The Architect’s Newspaper (online) & 03/02/2016 (print)

Architectural Digest


Frame (online) & Frame #111 Jul/Aug 2016 (print)


Award of Merit, Commercial Interiors
2016 AZ Awards

Special Mention, Interiors, Retail / Hospitality, Architect’s Newspaper 4th Annual (2016) Best of Design Awards

Project Information

Type Retail, Interior
Location New York, NY
Status Completed, December 2015
Scale 550 SF
Consultants Dot Dash (Lighting Consultant)
Photography Michael Vahrenwald / Esto
Team Karolina Czeczek, Matthew Davis, Adam Frampton, Francesca Pagliaro, James Schrader, Jon Siani

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