Super Booths and Tables
When I designed Double Decker's layout, look, and overall atmosphere, it was important to me that it looked like more than just a bus with tables placed inside. I wanted a unique space to enjoy coffee in that felt like it had a previous life and now it was simply the next chapter of that life. Another aspect of designing the space was identifying what I do not like in similar businesses. Probably my least favourite experience while skiing is seeing a cute building to enjoy snacks in and going inside to feel like sardines jammed in a ski boot. In order to avoid this feeling, I decided to limit the number of seats available up stairs as well as have a no standing policy (of course the low ceiling enforces that policy all on its own). In addition, I felt removing the soft fabrics from the space would reduce the humidity and ultimately cut down on the bad fragrance associated with a typical ski lodge lunch room.
As for the actual design of the upstairs, there were several qualities I wanted to target. I decided that by adding a colourful paint scheme inside, it would naturally frame the large windows separating the inside and outside spaces. To compliment the thick wood countertops downstairs, I carried the look through the tables on the second floor. The dimensions of the tables had to be altered several times in order to make the thickness match the scale of the overall booth. Continually cutting down the tables became a pretty exhausting task as they had to be cut with a beam saw and made quite a mess each time they were cut down. Another difficult aspect of designing the seating and table interaction was trying to manage the dimensions between tabletop heights, window heights and seat heights. This took some creativity and certainly results in a different feeling while in the bus.
Another aspect that was important to incorporate in the bus was having a large hang out booth, or super booth as I like to call them. I have always found these oversized booths to feel quite inviting, as well as a great meeting space for friends or people working together on a project. I also wanted to confuse the space by not giving it an identifiable front or back, and the super booths helped me achieve this by placing one at either end of the space. In addition to the two super booths, three smaller four person booths would be placed down one side of the bus. These smaller booths were made from the original bus seats, with a few alterations to make them compliment the wood in the space better. The four person booths have an interesting posture to them, as the original bus seats really throw you against the back rest, which an individual must be fairly relaxed to enjoy a coffee in such a posture. I find it quite funny to watch people try and fight the seat with proper posture, but once they finally give into the seat's wants they relax. Another difficulty in building the seating upstairs is that the floor has an apparent arch to it, as it is the downstair's ceiling. The result of the floor's arch is that portions of the super booth feel odd to sit at as the distance between table top and floor differs largely from the ends to the middle, almost two full inches.
Now I must admit that when I was designing Double Decker's layout, it was heavily based on what I like in a space, and I gave very little consideration to typical seating/revenue calculations. In actuality I would much rather the space be pleasant for fewer people that trying to maximize wallets in seats. In addition to the space primarily representing my wants, it is also primarily designed from one particular point of the bus, and how the rest of the space looks from that vantage point. Early on in the build I found my natural favourite portion of the bus and designed around it. By doing so, in the future when I am working in the bus alone editing film or what have you, I am always going to be surrounded by my favourite look of the space. I am curious to find if others visiting the bus can identify this seat or not as I believe it is not obvious one.
Patrick Sills is the owner and creator of Double Decker Coffee Roasting. The purpose of the Build Blog is to share the story of the physical build, its components, Patrick's growing education in the coffee industry, and the overall creation of the business. Warning: if run on sentences, poor sentence structure, or simple spelling mistakes bother you to the core stop reading! The Build Blog has a very loose format, I am a builder not a writer, just thought some people might be interested in the story. Enjoy!