Location: Grapevine, Texas
What vision did the owners have for the space and how did you help lead/clarify their vision?
The owners’ vision was very clear in their mind: a place where people would gather for coffee and fellowship, just a genuinely cool place to be. Beyond that, they had just beyond a blank sheet of paper with a few circles and squares to represent rough space ideas.
We first met with one of the owners and saw almost from the beginning in an empty shell lease space people gathering and laughing over an excellent cup of coffee. Asking questions as we visited, we could see beyond the surface and focused first on the structure – for soundproofing from the honkytonk bar next door to the flow of the guests coming through the front door and accounting for the times of day with the direct western sun exposure in the afternoons. All these elements would play a part in creating the ultimate customer experience and the need for consideration of all aspects, not just where the restrooms should and must be located and color of paint on the walls.
What is the reaction by customers and end-users of the space? How do people use it?
It truly is a place of peace, pondering and laughter. Re:Defined Coffee is constantly busy and bustling with business – it’s often hard to find a place to park when the place is open for business!
What we learned on this project:
This was a great example in fully delivering the owners’ vision, even if they do not fully understand it themselves. It is our responsibility to help in the process of drawing out what they are trying to say by articulating back to them during the design process, and help them see the end from the beginning by trying on different ideas until they say “That’s it, that’s what I’ve been dreaming about.”
The most important thing learned here is that successful projects are when as a team we do the project “with them” (customer, design team, and trades) and not do the project “to them”, which happens when we take over the project versus taking control of the project. The project losses the DNA and essence of its purpose without all participants called to be in the process are not heard and valued for their individual contributions.
That’s what our namesake, Alliance, is ultimately all about; aligning everyone’s participation, ideas, and value into a symphony that benefits the collective whole.