Interiors agency Ghislaine Viñas Interior Design describes its back-and-forth method of collaboration with furniture guru Francois Chambard, of UM Projects, as a “creative game of ping pong”, which sounds like a nice way to spend one’s working life, don’t you think? The two New York firms – along with architectural consultants Danu Hassik and Hannah Chiaroni-Clarke – are responsible for Happy Bones, a coffee shop in Nolita that stands out from the mass of bodies in look and feel. The shop wasn’t even a shop originally, but rather an alley running between the neighbouring buildings. The footprint is therefore long and thin, and the area is split in the middle by a bespoke counter/console unit, with the customers hanging out at the front, and the coffee-making jiggery-pokery happening in the back.
Up front Happy Bones is a stark whitewashed box with room for exhibiting and retail capacity; only the spray splatter wallpaper by owner-artist Jason Woodside demands to stand out. Custom-made perforated mesh panels are an example of the “industrial craft” vibe shaped by GVID and UM’s interaction, and angular shapes in light grey suggest a mechanical slant to things. A permanent home for a previous pop-up, this skeletal Broome Street bean boutique looks to have a long life ahead of it.