RAISING DESIGN QUALITY AND VALUE IN THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT

A primary focus for Jones Payne is the assessment and improvement of existing structures. During each renovation project we examine ways to extend a building’s lifecycle, addressing present-day needs. This process allows organizations to take a second look at old spaces, and is an effective strategy for optimizing a structure’s operational performance. “In terms of sustainable architecture, we preserve what is best about existing spaces to make them more efficient and useable. We work closely with clients to retain unique characteristics that cannot be economically manufactured in new construction,” says Nadia Melim, Project Architect at Jones Payne.

The Cafe Alki Project

The interior environment of a building can be a stimulus for improving the health and well-being of occupants, and interior renovations can provide renewed vitality to any space that is underused or functionally obsolete. This was the case with Café Alki at South Seattle College (SSC). The cafe, located in the Culinary Arts Building on SSC’s campus, was an existing, underutilized dining room. SSC hired Jones Payne to repurpose Café Alki into a lounge-style space with a coffee shop for students and faculty. Our design team evaluated the space and the adjacent instructional kitchen, providing a design that enhanced comfort and convenience. 

Design Strategy

Café Alki was remodeled to support a new coffee shop function with a point-of-sale counter, grab and go foods, and an espresso bar with pour-over stations. Care was taken to include eco-friendly, acoustic finishes throughout the space to absorb noise, such as cork bark wall tiles and recycled wood pulp wall panels.

Renovated coffee bar

The banquette seating wall and walls enclosing the bathroom doors are specially detailed to absorb sound.

Multiple types of seating are available to patrons, including lounge chairs, bar stools and booth seating. Tables are provided at various heights for lounging, dining and standing, as well as a bar-height communal table that doubles as a buffet surface for special events. The space also features composite, recycled paper countertops, which are often used to make cutting boards, and are impervious to moisture and bacteria growth. 

Communal table for students and staff

Seating areas

Touchless systems were installed to the extent possible to minimize pathogen exposure. The team also coordinated the selection of college furnished equipment, as well as the utility infrastructure for the equipment, to provide a seamless install and operation for the owner. Bright yellows and greys were chosen as room colors to create a warm, inviting café environment. The Pantone Color Institute selected this color scheme as the 2021 Pantone Color of the Year, citing its ability to convey “a message of strength and hopefulness that is both enduring and uplifting”. 

Because Café Alki is operated by SSC students, Jones Payne selected all materials with ease of maintenance in mind. 

Café before construction

Rendering of Café

Café after construction

Project credits:

Electrical Engineering Consultant: Case Engineering

Lighting Consultant: Case Engineering

Food Service Consultant: Stafford Design Group

Mechanical Engineering Consultant: Bogard Pascua Engineers, PS

General Contractor: Regency NW Construction, Inc.

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