Tipico Coffee (Cafe Fargo)

Sparse interior is accented with tin ceiling, natural rock textures, and patterned seating surface.

Café Fargo is a formerly neglected corner store converted into a small coffee shop in a residential neighborhood of Buffalo, NY. The former store, built in 1929, is a monolithic brick addition to the corner of a 3-story brick house built around 1880.




Buffalo, NY

Date of completion


Typically, for a hospitality space, a large amount of the construction budget goes into mechanical systems that provide a uniform indoor climate throughout the year. With a tight budget, the opposite approach was taken and these invisible mechanical services were transformed into two experiential architectural elements that emphasize the distinct pleasures of summer and winter:

  • Extra-large operable windows and skylights that provide natural ventilation and passive cooling, and
  • Large-scale, wood burning Kachelofen (masonry heater) which serves as the radiant heat source for the space.

Recognition (selection): 18th Best of Canada Design Award Winner, International Design Awards IDA 14 Honorable Mention, 2015 ACSA Fall Conference, Preservation Buffalo Niagara People’s Choice

Publication (selection): AIT 06/2016, Azure Magazine 09/2015, db Deutsche bauzeitung 07-08/2015, Architectural Digest 06/2015, Canadian Interiors 09-10/2015



Published February 27, 2015