Long-time collaborators by LEMOIGNAN and MHA have rejoined forces after a hiatus, the Montreal-based design studio and architecture and design office collaborating to create the architectural signature and restrained but distinctive aesthetics for neighbourhood roasters and coffee shop, Café Kujira.
Situated in the ‘green’ Technopôle Angus neighbourhood, the 184 square metre space has seating capacity for 55, and is one of two locations for the Japanese-inspired roasters who sought to open bricks and mortar outposts in order to create warm and inclusive spaces where customers are welcome to pop in for a quick coffee, or stay a few hours to work with the unlimited free WiFi that is thrown in. Cafés to hang out, study or work, guests are made to feel both welcome and valued.
Commanding the ground floor of a new building in the Technopôle Angus, Café Kujira Angus boasts magnificent views of the park located opposite, as well as generous amounts of natural light, ideal for those who are there to do a few hours of work.
Upon entering, clients arrive in a welcoming, luminous double height space home to the coffee counter and display counters, seating in the form of bar stools, a wood clad concrete riser and high tables facing towards the animated baristas. Beyond the entrance area, a set of stairs flank the imposing black tile volume of a large planter, and lead to the a second level. Integrated into the change of levels and concrete stairs, the tiled planter and tropical plants partially obscure the upper area from below, while offering a glimpse to the calmer area beyond. This tranquil upper space is organised around two large custom tables which form the visual focus of this level.
A restrained material palette was used and the structural concrete kept exposed throughout. The pipes and services on the ceiling, painted matte black, further animate the ceiling. To soften the space by LEMOIGNAN and MHA have added materials rich in texture and contrast and accented them with greenery, the coffee display, and the liveliness of the café’s clientele.