Arelis Reyes

Arelis Reyes

Brooklyn, NY, US



In the early 2000s, in Oakland, California, a slightly disaffected coffee lunatic, weary of the commercial coffee enterprise and stale, overly roasted beans, decided to open a roaster for people who were clamoring for the actual taste of fresh coffee. Using a minuscule six-pound batch roaster, he made a historic vow: “I will only sell coffee less than 48 hours out of the roaster to my guests, so they may enjoy coffee at peak flavor. I will only use the finest, most delicious, and responsibly sourced beans.”

Now, more than fifteen years later, and thanks to the enthusiastic support of many loyal guests, Blue Bottle Coffee has grown to a network of cafes across the U.S., Japan, and Korea. 

Located just south of the USF St. Petersburg library and adjacent to the Bayboro Harbor is our site at approximately 25,740 square feet (143 W X 180 L). Our given program proposes two buildings for the school of Visual Arts; one containing spaces for drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, and film while the other is for gallery spaces, administration, a small library, and a mini-theater. The two buildings must be connected by a designed open plaza. 

My driving point for this project was taken from the disconnect between the street side and the waterfront. This site sits directly on the waterfront, but the harbor is overlooked with foot traffic predominantly on the street side. This sites main problem is the lack of design to showcase the waterfront and the sailing culture. Because the site positions itself is at the south most part of the campus, my goal was to create a destination point for students to study, learn, and relax. 

In response to this problem I wanted to create unconventional learning spaces. Because art is highly influenced by its surroundings, I began to think of ways to create rotating outdoor shaded spaces for critiques, classrooms, studios, and temporary galleries.

I also designed the park to give some directional hierarchy, while still giving pockets of secondary resting areas. 

(The images shown from the Blue Bottle in Astor Place)

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Status: Built
Location: New York, NY, US
My Role: This was a team effort. I helped in design concept, design development, and construction documentation.