Walker Design was recently tasked by Tower Realty to design a 2,000 sf mixed use space with multiple functional objectives. These objectives were to create a tenant amenity space for conferencing and informal gathering, entry lobby beautification, and to provide an updated aesthetic with additional seating for the Cuban Café.
Any foodie in downtown Orlando knows the Cuban Café, located within the first floor of the Fairwinds Tower on Central Blvd. This café, known for serving authentic Cuban fare was accessed through a corridor adjacent to the building’s loading area prior to the renovation and went unnoticed by many building patrons. The design concept was to revitalize the space utilizing transparency and natural light while drawing in patrons to the café from the lobby using a mixture of textures with warm tones accented by graphic patterns and bright pops of color. To achieve the functional goals as requested by the owner, the space had to be creatively planned, efficient and flexible. A feature wood wall with two thresholds was utilized to bisect the amenity space from the café, providing the necessary after hour’s security required by the restaurant and creating better incoming and outgoing traffic flow. From the building lobby, the informal gathering space opens up allowing visual permeability throughout the space. This transparency allows new internal finishes, lighting, furniture and layout to be viewed by visitors. The combined suite is furnished with a variety of seating options including lounge, banquet, bistro, and high top, providing additional café seating. Cuban Café guests are welcomed to sit in the informal gathering space while enjoying a meal or coffee. Conferencing is nested within the space borrowing natural light across the open gathering area.
Although the space has unique programmatic requirements and functional goals the final product has a holistic aesthetic that serves all functions while proving to be an asset to the building and its occupants.