- Lead Designers : Louis Beliveau, Alexandre Baldwin
- Client : Melk Café St Urbain
- City : Montreal
- Country : Canada
Text description provided by the architects. The new Melk Coffee Bar was not only a design-thinking tightrope walk between necessity and esthetics but a reminder of how much thought can go into aspects of design that people might overlook. The difficult space had to fit an existing brand and be elevated for future rollouts.
A triangular floor plan with a curved wall and space tapering to 2’ wide made for strict tolerances. We took a production line-style approach, putting sleek machines on display, with a consumer path encouraging browsing and employee-client interaction.
Tables near the counter are raised to bar height on platforms and benches push ergonomic limits to meet a 24-person occupancy. The original space was cramped. Our esthetic approach emphasized the timelessness of raw materials within a limited palette.
We turned the narrowing end into the back store and uncovered everything--architectural details, raw concrete, plumbing, and 14’ ceilings. Light paint, atypical use of ceramics, and wood provide organic accents.