485 LA TROBE STREET (REAR), MELBOURNE, VIC 3000
We are Humble PTY. LTD.
Upstanding Citizens is an espresso bar built around the ‘quick coffee;’ that transitory moment that happens daily, on your way into the office, when you come back from a meeting or when you’ve got 10 minutes to kill before your next appointment. The transaction is quicker, more fleeting and might happen multiple times daily.
This Upstanding Citizens faces Little Lonsdale Street in the newly renovated ground floor of 485 La Trobe Street. Small in footprint, with double-height ceilings, adjacent to a rear entry and elevated above street level, the space presented an interesting challenge as to how it could engage with the street from such a removed position
Conceiving this new space as one of transition we found inspiration in train stations, visualising waiting rooms from the 20s with high ceilings and wood panelling, reminiscent of an era when train travel was the height of luxury. The Tasmanian Stringy Bark panelling on the walls and joinery is contrasted against the strong white vertical lines emphasising the dramatic height of the space.
Imagined as a kiosk you might encounter on a train platform, the bar area is tucked against one side of the space, giving over generous area to the low slung leather and timber benches that wrap around the edges of the cafe. In the centre of the space stands tall the anchor to this UC, a glowing sign atop a newspaper rack and a bench seat. The sign tells those on the street outside in no uncertain terms what is on offer inside.
In a city where design can often be nuanced or abstract we wanted to be a little less ambiguous, a little more referential and a bit tongue-in-cheek. This space tells you what it’s about from the get-go — come get your |C|O|F|F|E|E|
Photography by Peter Clarke