The 950-square-foot Wicker Park store uses a curated material palette and thoughtful lighting design to differentiate the experience of serving coffee from those being served. With a material palette of Douglas fir, concrete, and white quartz, the café’s interior contrasts with the sleek modern texture of the base building’s façade. Douglas fir is used throughout the store and finished in different ways to define space and function. Pickled vertical slats line the café walls creating a soft warm shell while ebonized and oiled wood defines the various functions within the space. Conceived as a matryoshka doll, the coffee bar is nestled inside a Douglas fir volume whose ‘top’ has been lifted. The ‘top’ is set at eight feet high, providing a more intimate experience between barista and customer. Highlighting the lab-like quality of Intelligentsia’s process, white quartz countertops and an illuminated polycarbonate ceiling create the lining inside the nesting doll and further distinguish and define the coffee bar.