Crew Cafe by Henri Cleinge Architecte: 2016 Best of Year Winner for Coffee/Tea
Old and new are often side by side in this city founded in 1642. Just not usually at the exact same address. For a café that shares a 2,700-square-foot lobby with the office of the tech start-up Crew, a jobs platform for freelance Web developers and designers, contemporary features had to respect the neoclassical elements of the building, a 1928 bank by York & Sawyer. “We needed to be delicate and sensitive enough not to overpower what was existing,” Henri Cleinge says.
Because nothing new could be suspended from the restored painted ceiling vault, improved lighting comes from discreetly recessed LEDs at the teller stands. The stands are brass, like the ornate original chandeliers, hence Cleinge’s choice of brass-plated steel to enclose Crew’s conference rooms and rentable privacy booths, all in view from the café. Its white-oak tabletops are only a tone or two away from the marble floor and limestone walls. Banquettes in leather complement the palette, as do counters in concrete and granite. Melding elements across the centuries wasn’t the only challenge. As Crew employees would of course frequent the café, both fluidity and separation were required. So in went high partitions in tempered glass to limit access but not sight lines.
Project Team: Paulette Taillefer.