Los Angeles – Venice, Silver Lake, Pasadena and now Hollywood: this year, architecture and interior-design practice Standard unveiled the fourth Los Angeles café for American third-wave coffee company Intelligentsia. Started nearly 25 years ago in Chicago, the artisanal roaster is a reputable name in the coffee world and its brick-and-mortar reach is quickly growing beyond its two key cities.
To introduce itself to the NYC market, specifically, Intelligentsia wisely joined with key hospitality partners. One Big Apple location is in the High Line Hotel; earlier this year, the company introduced its second, a coffee bar in the already-famed TWA Hotel. The first Texas outpost sprung up in Austin a few months ago, and there are two locations in Boston. Standard’s LA café, a 223-sq-m space sitting proudly on the corner of Hollywood and Cahuenga Boulevard, pays tribute to the city that helped Intelligentsia achieve success over the years.
In true Hollywood fashion, the site has a cinema-worthy story behind it. At the turn of the 19th century, flower fields engulfed the area, part of the estate of French painter Paul de Longpré. De Longpré had an affinity for blooms, and the Standard team wanted to somehow reference his legacy. After looking at archival images of the site, the studio decided it would use coloured mosaic tiles to build an abstract poppy field in the interiors. The blossom, aptly, is also California’s state flower.
To offset the tiled surface’s rich texture, the organization and material palette of the space was kept simple. Arched vaults are built between steel beams that support the building’s roof; installed on them are custom bronze light fixtures that provide central illumination. As a nod to the Old Hollywood interiors of the nearby historical institution Musso & Frank Grill, Standard used dark-stained wood panelling for the walls accented by stainless steel and fluted mirrors.
The coffee bar is a 30-ft (9-m) island clad in terrazzo, surfacing that continues out to the bench seating n the flower bed-decked outdoor patio. Defined by unmistakable Angeleno identity, the café shows Intelligentsia’s continuing regard for the locale, even as investments focus elsewhere – it’s a space De Longpré would have likely approved of.
Intellgentsia Hollywood has been submitted to the spatial design competition of the year, Frame Awards 2020. Stay up-to-date on the project’s progress or submit your own best work for consideration here.