Counter Culture: Filter Coffee Shop by DesignOffice

Snapshot: Melbourne-based firm DesignOffice has re-purposed a corner of an unused office building into a simple and welcoming home for the high-end coffee purveyor Filter.

The recent frenzy for artisanal and craft, well, EVERYTHING, has extended to the humble cup of coffee - while some of us still prefer a 50 cent paper cup of overly sugared and creamed scalding hot brown liquid - many folks these days want to actually taste their coffee and watch it brew into individual cups and know the name of the farmer who grew the beans. Caffeine connoisseurs in Melbourne are lucky to have a sleek and low-key new cafe created by locals DesignOffice in which to savor their favored vice.

Filter was designed with the Scandinavian palette in mind, a reference to the beautiful and delicious open faced sandwiches called smørrebrød served alongside single cup filtered coffee and espresso. The team at DesignOffice imbued the empty office space with a layered simplicity of form and function, with clean lines and fresh materiality. Timber veneer panels washed in light and lovely pastels fit together to create the shape of the cafe within the larger building, and the original coffered concrete ceiling was left in place for texture and tone.

Bespoke wood counters are the centerpiece of the cafe, over each length solid timber lighting beams gently hover, making the seating more intimate and refined within the deceptively lofty space. Simple tree-branch like stools, glass cases for smørrebrød and of course, multitudes of glass and ceramic coffee accoutrement round out the minimal space with organic shapes, highly decorative, colorful food, and physicality. 

DesignOffice created a secluded and welcoming space with a minimal yet warm design and color scheme, creating the perfect ambiance to contemplate one's coffee.

Photography by Haydn Cattach