Location: Charlottesville, Virginia
Photography: Jack Looney
Mudhouse Coffee is Charlottesville's own homegrown, nationally recognized, coffee salon and roaster. John and Lynelle Lawrence and their staff are masters of their craft who frequently receive national and international awards and prizes for their coffees, service and their socially and environmentally conscious business practices. In re-imagining their flagship coffee house located in a 1920s brick party wall building in downtown Charlottesville, FORMWORK wanted to be careful to honor the nature of the existing space as one of our town's central gathering spaces, a place where we all feel at home. The concept thus allowed the artifacts revealed by demolition to guide the design and client team in decision making all the way through the design phase. Using natural and locally sourced materials, the concept pairs an attitude of historical curation and the addition of natural materials that tie into the old rather than contrast with it. For the most part existing materials were retained unless lesser materials could be deleted to reveal something more substantial. Gypsum board skins over the brick plaster party walls were eliminated, exposing a collage of old textures and colors, a beautiful patchwork of moments from past retail occupancies.

Collaborators and craftspeople included John and Sarah Owen (stabilizing and curation of the collage plaster wall) and Alexander Nicholson (general contractor).