Jul 25, 2012
  • Article by Online Editor
  • Photography by Ben Glezer, Nico Alary
  • Designer Foolscap Studio

Tucked away in the heart of the law quarter of Melbourne CBD lies this small and unassuming cafe, Patricia. The brain-child of Bowen Holden – formerly of Seven Seeds cafe in Carlton – Patricia is all about one thing and one thing only: simple, good quality coffee. Here, there are no cappuccinos, and the menu is simple: black, white, and filter. The design of the space, by Foolscap Studio with graphics by Beyond the Pixels (BTP), emulates this simplicity and quality that Holden is so passionate about.

Functionality, materiality and detail were the prime focus in this limited space. The design team worked with the constraints of the existing office building site to create a space reminiscent of 1930s New York, with a modern twist. Dark joinery adorned with brass and marble sits centre stage, while above it glows a neon light, designed in collaboration with BTP, reading ‘sunshine’ – a sight often missed in Melbourne. White porcelain walls illuminate the dark timber newspaper unit, where newspaper pages are strung up for customers to peruse while standing.

Also reminiscent of the New York aesthetic is Holden’s idea of the space as standing room only, a message spelled out in black and white mosaic tiles at the entry. You’ll be hard pressed to find a place to sit in here, unless you hop into one of the beautiful old bay windows that line the alley side of the cafe.

In a city that is saturated with coffee, Patricia marks its territory with an elegant fitout, unique ‘bar’ qualities, and simply outstanding coffee.

Team Adele Winteridge, Sian Pascale, Kate Archibald and Beyond The Pixels

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