49th PARALLEL COFFEE ROASTERS
Main Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Once a run down laundromat, this project revitalized a building with plenty of inherent character. This comfortable, and always busy, coffee spot is a popular Vancouver icon with an open patio and comfortable seating to spare. This project was previously the 1st place winner of the North West Design Awards and a winner of the IDIBC Shine Awards in the Food & Beverage Category.
The design was inspired by the early 20-th century Brooklyn/industrial warehouse look. After being stripped to the bone the building has been structurally upgraded and received new exterior/interior finishes conveying a historic patina: concrete block walls are clad in reclaimed bricks, columns and beams are clad in old wood, re-used from demolished sites. The old pink painted facades and bar-protected windows have been replaced with reclaimed brick masonry, a new portal and Canopy at the Entry and new dark-framed windows.
Although challenged by the need to accommodate many activities, the design remains cohesive. The only new materials – wood and stone - are used at the central bar, oversized to accommodate the busy work flow. Seamlessly integrated with the restored base building deck, the lower wood ceiling situated above is intended to conceal beams and HVAC ducts and to improve the overall acoustics.
The right wall displays valuable coffee machines and retail items within niches, on wood shelves. Smoky mirror panels lining the back faintly reflect their image, and sound equipment is enclosed beneath wire mesh doors at the lower cabinets.
The entire wall is clad in brick masonry, continuing the exterior one. In front of it is a large communal table, with hinged stool-type seats and concealed mechanism allowing for the height to be adjustable. It provides flexible use – both for day-to-day seating and for occasional private functions.
A large Patio at the North façade is accessed through new glass-and-wood operable garage doors. Due to their opening path, the adjacent suspended light fixtures were custom cantilevered, to have a single point of support - thus allowing the garage doors to cross.
The finishes used throughout are never sleek or shiny, but intentionally have an old world patina: aged leather armchairs, reclaimed wood table-tops, stained concrete floor and low-key illumination with Edison lamps. The interior concept, layout and finishes attempt a smooth integration into this Bohemian, eccentric and lively neighborhood - the constant high demand and patrons’ lineups since its opening stands proof of its success.