La Marzocco recently opened its very first café & showroom, located inside KEXP's New Home in Seattle Center. In addition to the fully operating café that is open daily, the La Marzocco space includes a showroom with commercial and home espresso machines, as well as historical archives and vintage machines for guests to explore La Marzocco products, and the company's rich, nearly 90-year heritage.
The architecture and design of the 1,100 square foot café and showroom including the custom bar was designed by SkB Architects, who traveled to the La Marzocco factory in Florence, Italy, in preparation for the project. Seattle-based creative agency States of Matter assisted with interior design, finishing and overall branding. Both teams drew inspiration from La Marzocco's Florence, Italy factory, and the drawings of Italian coffee bars that La Marzocco designed and produced from the 1960s-1980s.
Kyle Gaffney of SkB Architects was inspired to sketch the 200 square foot bar after sitting down with Piero Bambi, son and nephew of La Marzocco's founding brothers, to discuss the importance of thoughtful bar design; the result combines the elegance of Italian café heritage, with the craftsmanship and care that has gone into each La Marzocco espresso machine. The pewter bar top nose takes design cues from the La Marzocco FB80 model espresso machine and Florentine lilies line the bar face. The cabinets have been hand-crafted in Seattle at the workshop of Mallet, Inc and La Marzocco has included a taste of Italy with the bar doors and knock box drawers from Veneto-region, Italian bar manufacturer Ronda, a company that has been making quality stainless steel furnishings for cafes since 1967.
The showroom, beginning from the entrance on 1st Avenue, is a journey for each guest and speaks directly to the history of the brand. It includes a floor-to-ceiling mural of the city of Florence, steel etched floor with historical brand moments and machines designed in chronological history beginning from the 1920s. Within the showroom, guests will find the Espresso Lab devoted to La Marzocco Home, to speak directly with home baristas, that will allow guests to gain hands-on experience with La Marzocco's range of home espresso machines and accessories, participate in home barista classes as well as speak with La Marzocco staff about selecting the right machine for their home. The La Marzocco Home Espresso Lab represents the first public space dedicated to teaching the art of espresso to consumers.
Photography: Jeremy Bittermann