Across the street from the famed Surfer Statue and Steamer Lane on West Cliff Drive, the Shrine of Saint Joseph in Santa Cruz sits among gardens and cypress trees with views of Monterey Bay and the Santa Lucia Range beyond. Local parents dropping off children for school, surfers headed for dawn patrol sessions at the Lane, and visitors from around the world all pass the Shrine throughout the day.
As a means to welcome the community through their doors, and to promote a “culture of encounter” within the Church, the Oblates of Saint Joseph asked Fuse to design a new non-profit, third-wave coffeehouse within an existing meeting space in the Shrine. Drawing on Saint Joseph’s occupation as a carpenter, the design for the cafe space evokes images of a woodshop, with stacks of wood end grain extending out to become the coffee bar and the beams above.
As the design phase neared completion, the Oblates learned that two of their huge Monterey Cypress had become unsafe and needed to be taken down to protect an elementary school on their grounds. The wood from the trees was saved and used for all of the wood in the cafe, intertwining the story of the site with the story of Saint Joseph in extending the work of the church.
With construction slated to begin in the not-too-distant future, the whole project team can practically smell the coffee brewing.
If you’re interested in learning more about the project, or in aiding their ongoing fundraising efforts, be sure to check out the Shrine Coffee website.
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