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La Firme Uses Soft Green Accents And White Tiles For Montreal’s New Melk Cafe

Ulysse Lemerise

Design studio La Firme has transformed a tight, triangular space into a bright and airy cafe in Montréal. Called Melk Café Saint-Urbain, the new venue occupies a triangular commercial space near the city’s Chinese Quarter and business district.

“The original space was cramped,” said La Firme founder Louis Beliveau. “A triangular floor plan with a curved wall and space tapering to two metres 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,” continues La Firme.

 Melk Café Saint-Urbain, Montreal, Canada / La Firme

Tables near the counter are raised to bar height on platforms and benches push ergonomic limits to meet a 24-person occupancy.

“Our esthetic approach emphasized the timelessness of raw materials within a limited palette,” Beliveau said. “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.”

Melk Café Saint-Urbain, Montreal, Canada / La Firme Melk Café Saint-Urbain, Montreal, Canada / La Firme Melk Café Saint-Urbain, Montreal, Canada / La Firme Melk Café Saint-Urbain, Montreal, Canada / La Firme