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The Max Cafe

Emerson College | Boston, MA
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Project Details

Emerson College’s Max Mutchnick Campus Center is named for the 1987 graduate and co-creator of the Will & Grace television show. The student-focused facility contains the Max Café, a retail venue that had not been updated since the building opened in 2006. A very popular combination convenience store and food service venue, the Max Café had cramped spaces and a dated aesthetic. Emerson College engaged BKP to perform a fast-track renovation.

Comprised of two small rooms, the original café was difficult for students to navigate and a challenge for food service provider Bon Appetit Management Company to properly stock, prepare, and serve food. In fact, the dishwash station was located in the store. BKP’s renovation design gutted the space and completely updated the configuration for less congestion and improved efficiency. The reorganization captured a former office to expand the food prep and cleaning area and give staff more space in which to work. Relocating the dishwash area presented a challenge of navigating the building’s existing conditions but also an opportunity to creatively reuse some plumbing and chases rather than doing a full replacement. All finishes and fixtures were updated with custom millwork retail shelving and a dedicated grab-and-go area. The millwork uses routed wood-look laminate with quartz surfaces for cost-effective durability. Large-format porcelain tiles on the floor and walls offer a clean classic aesthetic. The floor has a faux terrazzo finish that brightens the space, while the contrasting blue wall tiles have minimal grout joints for easier cleaning.

  • Client

    Emerson College

  • Cost

    $650,000

  • Size

    1,000 square feet

Images © BKP Architects