The design concept for the Clark Café at 2611 South Clark in National Landing was inspired by the vibrant murals of Crystal City, aiming to seamlessly blend into the concurrent building updates while serving as a boutique café and a building amenity. User experience was a top priority, and the design was influenced by the needs of building tenants, visitors, and baristas that would be working behind the counter.
The design incorporates globe pendant lights that are visible from the street, drawing attention to the café and ensuring it’s not overlooked by sidewalk traffic. The color palette and shapes in the design blend seamlessly with the existing lobby while creating a vibrant and energetic atmosphere. The space features a mix of commercial, residential, and artisanal finishes, including Haworth tables, Anthropologie pillows, and Etsy signage.
The layout of the café is intuitive, with a clear view of the cashwrap, wide circulation paths, and various seating groups. Designers worked closely with a barista to ensure efficient equipment placement and flow for swift customer service. ADA compliance and a welcoming experience for all visitors were also considered.
The café is designed to transition into a wine bar, lounge, or evening event space after regular business hours, offering flexibility for tenants. Sustainability was a key focus, with the use of cradle-to-cradle FLOR tiles, efforts to reduce paper product usage, reuse of kitchen equipment and plumbing locations to minimize waste, and the inclusion of real plants and natural light.
The new amenity space achieved its goals of creating a dynamic and inviting café space that enhances the building’s amenities, serves as a social hub for tenants, and promotes health and well-being.
General Contractor: Russell Gage Corporation
MEP Engineering: Allen + Shariff Corporation
Photography: Erin Kelleher Photography