Wild Love Bakehouse

The owners of a long standing coffee shop in Knoxville, TN approached the architects with the idea to build a bakery to support the growth of their food offerings. The bakery would also serve as a second coffee shop location which would serve the neighborhoods just outside of downtown Knoxville. However, this location would have a separate identity to set it apart from the existing coffee shop.

The selected location for the bakery was a former vehicle repair facility. While not responsible for exterior renovations to the building, the architect and owners collaborated with the landlord’s architect to help guide the development of the exterior design. The interior of the existing building had a raw and industrial character and consisted of two distinct spaces with different structural systems. Using these unique characteristics as an advantage, a strategy was developed to locate the bakery production kitchen in the older concrete deck and steel beam building and the customer area in the newer metal deck and bar joist building. This strategy allowed the spaces to develop as a series of layers related to the existing building. Secondary spaces such as restrooms and the dish room were grouped together towards the center of the production kitchen to form an efficient service core. A new glass wall was inserted to provide views into the kitchen prep area. A restrained material palette of wood, handmade tiles, and painted surfaces was selected to contrast the existing industrial character of the space and relate to the owners’ love for midcentury modern design. Custom wood display shelving defines the service bar in the customer area and provides a backdrop to the barista at work. The completed design has a warm yet sophisticated atmosphere that is unique in Knoxville.


Wild Love, LLC


2,240 SF

Completion Date:

December 2015

Project Team:

John L. Sanders, AIA LEED AP (Principal-In-Charge)
Michael A. Davis, Assoc. AIA LEED AP (Project Architect)
Michael K. Aktalay, Assoc. AIA LEED AP
Cameron S. Bolin, Assoc. AIA

Photo Credits:

Bruce Cole