Located in a refurbished beachside building next to Sydney’s iconic Bondi beach, the new headquarters of Will & Co, one of the country’s leading boutique coffee roasters, reinvents the local café concept by merging commercial, educational and cultural aspects. Designed by local architectural practice Alexander & CO., Will & Co Bondi Beach is an experimental hybrid space comprising not only the brand’s offices and showroom but also a roastery, café and concept store while also hosting educational and community activities. Synonymous with coastal cool, the brand’s camaraderie-based ethos and entrepreneurial youthfulness informed the venue’s interior design which embraces a simple coastal palette, street art, and a design language inspired by artists Donald Judd and Rachel Whiteread.
Formed by a group of lifelong coffee loving friends, Will & Co’s quality-driven sensibility embraces the entire coffee process, from sourcing, to roasting, blending and making and serving coffee, so it’s only fitting that the new venue was conceived as an experimental hybrid space – part workplace, part commercial, part educational – as well as a branding exercise in itself. As the brand supplies roasted coffee beans to many businesses, the venue’s commercial activities extend beyond walk-in customers. At the same time, it regularly hosts numerous events, from latte art smack downs and barista competitions to educational talks educating the local community on coffee culture and the science behind it.
Taking advantage of its north-western corner location, the space is wrapped in retractable glass to enhance visibility, ventilation and natural lighting. Taking centre stage, both spatially and visually, a monolithic Marblo resin counter – a nod to Rachel Whiteread’s cast resin doors – is the operational heart of the venture functioning both as a serving station and training zone, while the seating unfolds along the facades. In the far end of the space, a few steps lead up to a mezzanine level that house the brand’s frugal headquarters, including a glass-enclosed meeting room that glows green, red or orange depending on the viewing angle, courtesy of the dichroic film the designers have applied on the glass screens.
Gleaming in its oceanic turquoise hue, the resin counter stands out amid a restrained colour and material palette of white-painted recycled brick, white and blue wall tiling, polished concrete, stained oak and birch ply, which, along with the visible ducts and pipes in the ceiling, make for an industrial yet refined aesthetic. Leather upholstery, brass details and a blue powder-coated steel shelving displaying a range of specialty goods like cold drip equipment and ceramics add texture, while the murals by Perth-based illustrator Chris Nixon imbue the interior with playful street vibes.
With its unique interior design, freshly roasted coffee beans, and regular home barista courses, Will & Co Bondi Beach not only embodies the brand’s innovative approach to coffee but also attests to Australia’s ever expanding, highly refined coffee scene.