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 for a coffee bar 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.

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


2016 Architect’s Newspaper Best of Design Awards, Honorable Mention, Retail / Hospitality

2016 Azure Magazine AZ Awards, Award of Merit, Commercial Interiors

Selected Press and Publications

The Architect’s Newspaper 02/10/2016 (online) &
03/02/2016 (print, PDF)

Superfuture 02/11/2016

Archdaily 02/19/2016

Hypebeast (China) 02/22/2016

Urdesign 02/22/2016

Sprudge: Coffee News & Culture 02/22/2016

Frame 02/23/2016 (online) & Frame #111 Jul/Aug 2016 (print)

Architectural Digest 03/16/2016

Hinge Magazine (Hong Kong) April 2016 (print, PDF)

The New Yorker 04/02/2016

MARU 171 (Korea) June 2016

Bon Appetit 01/24/2017

AN Interior March/April 2017 (print, PDF)

Dezeen 02/05/2018

Architektura & Biznes (Poland) 04/2018

Architectural Digest 05/29/2018

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