506 Carnegie Center Cafe

Architecture and Interior Design
Princeton, NJ

This sustainably designed renovation of an existing cafeteria as a social center is part of a major repositioning to attract premium office tenants, providing an “urban-like” social experience. With transparencies, biophilic finishes, and asymmetric forms, new LED light­ing and natural daylight, design elements refer to nature and accentuate connec­tion to the adjacent courtyard with its newly expanded seasonal terrace just outside the café. An opaque wall at the servery area was replaced with storefront-style glass par­titioning, for visual connections between seating and service areas. 

Exposed wood ceiling beams echo the redeveloped terrace outside, whose new bar and grill pavilions harmonize with the overall aes­thetic of the campus. Varied furnishings provide options from booths to counter-height communal tables made of large timber slabs with natural edges. A marble-top counter becomes a working bar for after-hours events. The servery enjoys a chic, industrial vibe with a steel-edge soffit ceiling and glossy blue tiles. Sliding glass partitions secure the servery after hours without sacrific­ing the feeling of openness. The landscape design adds new lighting, reinvigorates existing planting areas with new diverse vegetation, and improves paths and irrigation/drainage systems.

Project completed: 2017