From Abandoned Home to Community Anchor
Ada’s Technical Books and Café
An award-winning conversion of a rundown old house into a small retail shop with a café.
Ada Lovelace was a 19th Century writer, mathematician, pioneer, and the initial inspiration for Ada’s Technical Books and Café. The impetus for the project was to create the “book retailer of the future.” Achieving this vision required adaptive reuse, an addition, and a pioneering approach to the neighborhood bookstore.
Respecting the existing home and the character of the neighborhood, the clients wanted to retain as much of the old home as possible, while still providing a great retail environment with an integrated, comfortable, and inviting café space.
The challenge of converting a dilapidated single-story Craftsman home into a refurbished, small-scale mixed-use project delighted us.
Through careful design and planning, we were able to utilize over 60% of the original structure, and salvaged all of the existing framing lumber for key fixtures within the space.
Our clients were dedicated to creating a balance of the historic and modern, and are advocates for sustainable and forward thinking. We imagined the exterior of the building as an old book cover — familiar and comfortable — while on the inside, the pages are crisp, clean, and bright.
Contrasting reused building materials with high-gloss interior finishes ties the building to its mission of a brick-and-mortar store selling books on technology.
“Board & Vellum designed my retail store and did an absolutely amazing job! They were pleasant to work with, super creative, and affordable. I'm already working with them on my next project.”
View this review on Houzz.
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Our design services encompass architecture, interior design, and landscape architecture, with teams specializing in projects across the spectrum, from single-family homes to multifamily and mixed-use buildings, and from boutique commercial spaces to civic spaces, like parks. We love designing the integrated fabric of structures, spaces, and places that create vibrant neighborhoods.
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