2012 Merit Award For Small Project: Coffee Bar Montgomery, San Francisco

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Coffee Bar Embarcadero Architect: Jones | Haydu Location: San Francisco, California

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2012 Merit Award For Small Project: Coffee Bar Montgomery, San Francisco

Hulett Jones, AIA and Paul Haydu, AIA are the team behind the San Francisco based boutique firm Jones Haydu. Recently, the two were hired to design a retail outlet for Mr. Espresso, a Bay Area institution, who viewed their project as an outlet to explore the myriad of ways (both traditional and contemporary) that espresso and coffee are made.

The overarching goal of the client was to open a cafe that could provide a slow food experience in a very fast paced environment—on pace, or better, with the established coffee chains. Both budget and timeline were tight, but sustainability was still top-of-mind, as well: the maple plywood is FSC certified, and the lighting is all high efficiency fluorescent and LED, on dimmers.

Design highlights include:

  • Generous space behind the counter to accommodate more baristas
  • Drink preparation is visible to highlight the artistry involved
  • More complicated drinks take center stage, on the lower platform bar top, thus involving the customer in the theatricality of the process

Jones Haydu removed the 2×2 lay-in acoustic tile ceiling, revealing the original, lofty space. The maple plywood provides a dramatic backdrop for the artistry happening on the countertops and serves as a proscenium over the stage. The concrete floor wraps up to meet the plywood where the action takes place, to draw the viewer’s eye to the stage.

The outdoor furniture is designed by locals Thatcher and Shannon Davis, owners of Selamat Designs, and composed of solid stainless steel tubing and sustainably grown and harvested Grade A teak

J. Hulett Jones was raised in Dallas and attended University of Texas in Austin. A native of New Haven, Paul Haydu attended Yale and the University of Texas. “Our specialty lies in working with clients that have programmatically rich projects,” say Jones. “We are very much generalists, but our clients come to us because our designs are specific to them, their program, the site, their budget, and their experience.” The two are both educators as well. Jones has taught at Cal Poly SLO and CCA, while Haydu has taught at Cal Poly SLO. They are reachable at http://www.joneshaydu.com.

Paul Haydu, left, and Hulett Jones


Jennifer Kennedy

Making pictures gives me endless opportunities to see the world in a new way. I love both the process and the people I meet along the way. I consider photography a dance between me and my subject and in the end, it's the subtle, almost indescribable details that move the viewer

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