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Open> Intelligentsia Coffee
Wheeler Kearns Architects references old Herald Square department stores for this cafe in an Urban Outfitters.
Courtesy Intelligentsia

1333 Broadway, New York City
Tel: 212-244-4320
Designer: Wheeler Kearns Architects

Shoppers at Urban Outfitters’ new outpost in Herald Square can now get a quick hit of caffeine to power them through the racks without ever leaving the store. In June, Intelligentsia—the Chicago and Los Angeles-based coffee and tea company—opened a roughly 900-square-foot coffee bar inside the retailer. It is joined at Urban Outfitters by a record store, hair salon, and trendy eyewear shop for good measure.

The Intelligentsia space was designed by Chicago-based firm Wheeler Kearns Architects, which has worked with the coffee company on other locations, including a 1967 Citroen van in New York that was retrofitted to serve espressos out of its back window. At the Herald Square location, Urban Outfitters’ design team served as the architect of record.

Carrera white marble lines the store’s walls and defines its main bar, and brass and leather stools ring its perimeter. Daniel Wicke, of Wheeler Kearns, told AN that the heavy marble was used to reference the old retail countertops of bygone Herald Square department stores.

The added challenge for the space was connecting it to Urban Outfitters, which has a distinct design palette. “We were trying to meld a more contemporary modern language with Urban Outfitters’ found object design aesthetic,” said Wicke. A wall of detailed factory windows bridges that divide, and a roll-up garage door allows visitors to seamlessly move between the clothes and coffee.

Henry Melcher