Having familiarity with historic preservation, the Tennessee based venture, Frothy Monkey, sought out the historic Kress building, to claim as their Knoxville home. DIA and Frothy Monkey’s focus was to preserve and uplift Knoxville’s Kress as a vital historic and architectural landmark.
Our first design move was to remove the street facing, glass, storefront to create a recessed point of entry. Within the recess lies a covered, outdoor, patio guiding curiosity further into the space. All other elements of the existing, ornamental, façade were left untouched, including the Kress signage.
To maximize square footage, a mezzanine was designed, overlooking the patio below. Located in the back third of the space is a full functioning bar, alluding to a more relaxed atmosphere.
When selecting interior finishes the mindset was not to cover up but to embrace the existing materiality of the space. Original brick is visible throughout. Mezzanine stair treads and bar shelving were repurposed from the buildings disused wood beams.