This small coffee shop designed by Dominique Coulon & associés is in the Petite France quarter in the heart of the historic center of Strasbourg, a touristy area on a square that was created by a bombing during the Second World War. The coffee shop is a sleek cocoon, totally at odds with present-day standards.
© Eugeni Pons
The coffee shop stands three steps higher than the square, clearly visible to passers-by through the five arches that make up the façade. The building housing the coffee shop dates back to the reconstruction period in the 1950s. A beautiful lime tree stands in front of the coffee shop, providing the generously-sized terrace with shade. The green outdoor furniture is harmonious with the tree and can be arranged in many different formations.
The architects designed the coffee shop as a bright white homogeneous box, accentuating its visibility and power of attraction. The curve of the arches creates a geometric theme that is repeated throughout the space: the curves and counter-curves resonate with each other. The plaster panel appears detached from its wall, threading its way through the café until it reaches a final curve on the covered front steps and invites passers-by to come in. Inside, the existing staircase has been retained and its opaque guardrail becomes a feature in the composition of the coffee shop’s layout. The eating counter offers an unsupported horizontal line looking out over the square.
The untreated materials—speckled white terrazzo for the floor and counter, plaster facing on the walls, white paint and acoustic insulation sprayed on the false ceilings—capture the light and create a milky ambiance. Unusual exotic plants add cheer and complete the design.
DATE: 2019 / LOCATION: 2 place des meuniers, 67000 Strasbourg, France / AREA: 36,5 m2 (built) / PROGRAM: Coffee Shop / STATUS: Built / DESIGN: Dominique Coulon & associés (Dominique Coulon, Benjamin Rocchi, Mathilde Blum, Sophie Georgel) / CONSTRUCTION: Werey-Stenger (plastering), Rev-Sol (terrazzo floor), Hunsinger (exterior and interior joinery), Ingénieur IPF STE Hirtzel Arbogast & Fils (electricity), Frank Sanitaires (plombing), Peinture Schwartz (painting), Sigwald (metalworks), Aldeo (furniture) / PHOTOS: Eugeni Pons, David Romero-Uzeda