Dan Brunn Architecture transformed a former art gallery into the first Coffee for Sasquatch location by implementing a playful, modern design. The Melrose Avenue coffee shop creates a mystical environment evoking the forest where Sasquatch lives. The front of the store features an outline of the hairy folkloric creature with surrounding real living greenery to add depth and texture to the space. The service counter, finished in beechwood, extends from the plantings to symbolize a growing tree branch from the forest. A mix of materials and an abstract mural continue the essence OF wilderness theme and create a visually dynamic environment. Custom-designed built-in seating CURVES along the walls and coffee bar providing comfortable spaces for eating, drinking, and socializing. These distinctive elements are clearly visible through the new storefront to create an iconic image for the shop along the street.
Upon entry, customers are WELCOMED by an 11-foot-tall representation of the brand’s Sasquatch logo made of brown powder-coated steel and set within a seven-inch-deep living plant wall. Sasquatch, known for being predominately frightening, serves as the shop’s friendly mascot to greet and intrigue patrons. The LIVING green wall, designed in collaboration with Habitat Horticulture, features a range of plant species inspired by the natural forest, such as Velvet Leaf Philodendron, Male Fern, Blue Star Polypodium, Southern Maiden Hair Fern, Button Fern, and Norfolk Island Pine.
From the entrance, customers are drawn in along a central axis, accentuated by light and volume. This catwalk-like path ignites a feeling of movement and appears to elongate the space. A Barrisol ceiling STRETCHES OVER LED lights to create an ethereal glow above the pathway. The ceiling is designed as an inverted pitched roof leading up to light coves with flowing vines to create a sense of endless height to the space.
The beechwood service counter represents a tree branch emerging from the forest and seamlessly extends through merchandise and food display cases to an integral bench where coffee purveyors can RELAX while waiting for their orders. DBA designed this BENCH AND BAR area to encourage employee interaction and engagement with customers. Rather than hide baristas from view, THE SCALE AND FORM OF THE the coffee bar SERVES TO invite dialogue. A variety of materials HAVE been used to add texture to the space, such as the NATURAL beechwood counter, terrazzo floors and seating areas, and CALACATTA NUVO CAESARSTONE on the coffee bar, backsplash, and menu BOARD. Custom-designed menu graphics provide easy visibility on both sides of the CAESARSTONE MENU board.
In contrast to the sharp lines of the path, the built-in seating areas at the heart of the coffee shop are defined by flowing, curved surfaces of POUR IN PLACE terrazzo. CURVED Wood chairs designed and manufactured by the Swedish company Hem in European beech extend the forest theme. DBA custom-designed beechwood tables with soft angles to tie the curves of the chairs and seating built-ins together.
On the wall opposite from the Sasquatch LIVING WALL, a site-specific, hand-painted abstract mural created by Oakland-based artist Hueman evokes the mystery of the forest. Titled The Mist, the image features grey cloud forms, along with geometric shapes, to represent the unknown and secretive world inhabited by the giant creature. The light-colored walls and ceiling form a pale envelope to showcase the mural, living wall, wood furniture, and surfaces within the interior.
Location: 7020 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, CA, USA
Size: 1,200 sq.ft.
Completion Date: 2017
Architects: Dan Brunn Architecture
Program: Complete interior renovation, including new storefront, ESPRESSO BAR, signage, seating, service areas, two bathrooms, back of house, and storage
General Contractor: MODAA
MEP Engineer: JT Engineering; M&S Engineering Design
Expediting Consultant: FE Design & Consulting
Structural Engineer: Thang Le & Associates
Living Wall: Habitat Horticulture
Street Sign: Tako Tyko
MURAL Artist: Hueman
CASEWORK: CBM WOODWORKS
Photographs: Brandon Shigeta