Studio BANAA’s founders are two idealistic, enthusiastic architects with a history of freelancing in cafes. Voyager Craft Coffee is a startup initiated as a coffee cart, run by a couple of entrepreneurial world travelers. For Studio BANAA, “coffee inspired by our travels” is a concept that hit home. Together the pair was well-matched for the journey ahead.
Studio BANAA has been working with Voyager through the exciting expansion of their café creation journey — from their original Santa Clara store to three other thriving coffee shops around the Bay Area, and a fifth on the way. What started as a shared vision has evolved into a mutually beneficial client-architect collaboration.
Voyager’s fourth location in Cupertino (aka “The Coop”) continues its mission of bringing the eclectic flavors of the world to its community, taking over an abandoned coffee house on the bustling college crowd of Steven Creek Blvd. In line with the company’s passion for coffee and gathering, The Coop is a place for conversations and a gateway to what travel could look like through a series of hierarchical archways that connect the deep blue exterior facade to its interior, creating a whimsical passageway into to the world of Voyager Craft Coffee.
An extensive remodel breathed new life into the old forgotten space. An extra bathroom was converted into a new window-side seating nook overlooking the outdoor patio. The existing drop ceiling was removed to reveal the beautiful wood trusses allowing for more height and historic charm. A divider in the middle of the space defines the waiting line and functions as a merchandise display on one side and communal seating on the other. A wave-like concrete bench unifies the space, while soft and curved lines promote openness and create an inviting environment.
The primary color palette of pinks and blues, along with an arched corner showcasing a variety of colors, reflects Voyager’s emphasis on color. Elevating the element of craft has been instrumental in each location and is taken even further here. Custom light fixtures were designed in-house and handwoven in Greece, and a colorful and eclectic mural on the wall is by one of Voyager’s baristas/artists, Julian de la Cruz. Custom-designed, fixed benches ensure maximized seating, and the communal concrete table is poured and cast in place by a local concrete fabricator.
The Coop is designed as a place for conversations, featuring communal seating and connected benches forming hubs for diverse interactions. It embodies Voyager’s commitment to providing a down-to-earth and welcoming atmosphere, regardless of the location.
“We built this out amid the pandemic when most coffee shops were downsizing and embracing spaces with ‘takeaway friendly’ square footage. We wanted to buck that trend in a big way since we believe strongly in the power of, and need for, community spaces where our neighbors can meet and feel welcome.” – Sameer Shah