text + drawings

Location : Guildford, WA

Design Team : Ohlo Studio

Photo Credits : Patrick Schüttler

The Willing Coffee brief was for a classic Italian inspired cafe designed like a jewelery box. It was to bring the clients love for competition cycling and coffee together to create a warm, sharp, crisp and inviting neighbourhood cafe

The design details were largely informed by research into early industrial designs from the 50’s and 60’s and vintage cycle styling. This era was the beginning of industrial design as a profession and, in the post war world, mechanical equipment was being designed to be more appealing in a household environment.  Manufacturers wanted to appeal to woman in order to get their products into homes. Thus there was a fluidity or softness in many of the designs. Later, designs also became influenced by the space age and had a clear ‘tech’ vibe. 

It is this contrast between ‘tech’ and curvaceousness that informed our design. We looked more specifically at Italian mid-century diners as a way to combine classic Italian and mechanical references; drawing inspiration from a period in design that was rich with possibility.

The counter is formed from folded stainless steel wrapping a Persian Red Travertine front. In this way the small venue looks less cluttered through the consistency of steel surfaces and retains a functional, technical feeling in contrast to soft finishings and curved lines of the seating area. Willing coffee accommodates an extensive list of ‘must haves’ into a small space. The venue is intentionally tight on seating, increasing familiarity, but maintains a clean aesthetic that tells the story of the family that run it.