|Caffettiera Caffé Bar
|Design, Interior Design
Rue Stanley 2055
|Ménard Dworkind Architecture & Design
Montréal-based studio Ménard Dworkind Architecture & design (MRDK) are no strangers to the city’s culinary scene with several evocatively designed eateries under their belt. What makes the Studio’s work so noteworthy however is their talent for drawing from a wide range of references – from San Francisco and Vancouver’s Chinatowns for the cinematic Miss Wong, to Italian family restaurants that sprang all over North America in the 1970s for Vesta pizzeria – to design unique interiors that not only visually complement the food and drink on offer but conjure up an immersive narrative where patrons can enjoy them. For their latest project, Caffettiera Caffé Bar in downtown Montreal, the Studio was inspired by the exuberant design of the 1990s and the Italians’ coffee-centric lifestyle, to create a relaxed yet playful all-day environment where you can stop by for a quick espresso in the morning as well as decamp after work for an aperitif and a bite to eat.
Having a compact space to contend with, the designers have cleverly opted for a central circulation zone running the length of the café with a bar counter and banquette sitting on either side. Made from black terrazzo, the angular geometry of the monolithic bar counter is complemented by the black and white checkerboard mosaic floor, both of which are playfully juxtaposed with the soft curves and warm hues of the tan leather banquettes, faux-wood plastic laminate wall panels, and stepped bulkhead that wraps around the bathroom volume. Rounded mirrors and circular tables further add to these curvaceous elements whereas the bar counter’s rectilinear design is amplified by the built-in sandwich, pastry and retail displays and shelving showcasing Italian products behind.
Awash in splashes of bright candy colours and a graphic language of mix and match geometric shapes, the Studio’s 1990s-inspired interior design imbues the café with a jovial sensibility and playful elegance but it’s also a nod to the owner’s fond memories of 1990s Italy when the country “still had its own currency, a less turbulent political climate and the best soccer team”. Reupholstered vintage chairs found in classified ads and pendant lights made with yellow telephone wire enhance this sense of nostalgia, as does the collection of vintage books, stickers, toys and photographs from the 1990s that the designers have scattered throughout the space. In Italy, coffee bars are not just about the coffee, they are an opportunity to take a break from your day or meet friends, and Cafeteria’s nostalgic elegance taps into this lifestyle with laidback poise.