The task for the Uncommon café project required the refit of an existing retail shop, built in the late 1800’s as ‘Corner House J.T. Moffit Drapers & Co.’ in Chapel Street Windsor, Melbourne. A clean white volumetric space of 6.2m wide x 30m long and 4.5m high ceilings provided an ideal opportunity for the clients to realise their vision of clean living inspired food, atmosphere and local based hospitality focus. Timing was tight and budget minimal without excess. The shop frontage features an expansive glazed corner, deep recessed central entry, with abundant natural light from a run of highlight windows along the side street.
By inserting into the space a series of neutral, low, box -like forms, the functional service operations of Kitchen/ Bar and other amenities were housed. The highlight windows and high timber lined ceiling remain fully exposed through a filter of hanging plants draping the edges.
In retaining the sense of a simple white spatial volume and a low key intervention, the design allows for the operational expression that is ‘Uncommon’. Healthy food, great coffee, sustainably well presented, bespoke raw furniture of steel and timber, with a growing hanging garden set against a backdrop of aged painted white and new warm grey rendered walls. The original elevated shopfront display wings on either side of the entry also remain, simple bar seating animating its prominent corner aspect.
Project Team: Grant Amon, Estelle Peter
Builder: Harris HMC
Photos: James Newton