Madeleine Café

URBANMAKERS showcased local craftsmanship in carpentry, saddlery and locksmithing, each element custom-designed and handcrafted especially for Madeleine Café.

  • area / size 1,281 sqft
  • Year 2022
  • Location Nantes, France,
  • Built in the 1920s, this historic warehouse, whose concrete structure has remained true to its origins, has undergone many functional changes. Originally a storage place for rice and spices from Indochina, then an art gallery, and now the Madeleine Café is a new chapter. The Madeleine Café is a coffee shop for the people of Nantes, a place for exchange, meeting and work, conducive to creative collisions.

    As soon as you enter, the building reveals a magnificent concrete shell. From floor to ceiling, the raw materiality of the place reveal an atmosphere that is both raw and delicate in the quality of its details.

    The refined, almost precious fittings create an atmosphere that contrasts with the omnipresence of the concrete. We worked on this space with a deep respect for the place, while remaining delicate. The materials were selected for their finesse, authenticity and durability. We have drawn from a range of sustainable products: wood, stone, raw metal, terracotta and leather.

    The bar is the centrepiece of the café and has an impressive shelf space. It is visible from every point in the space. These curved forms are covered with crenellated terracotta tiles and a light terrazzo made up of contrasting marble granules. This charismatic object offers a delicate setting for the barista and his coffee art.

    The café offers a variety of seating types to give visitors the opportunity to sit according to their desires and needs. A long suspended wooden bench covered in leather allows several people to sit together. We have taken advantage of the imposing concrete pillars that criss-cross the space to position radiating benches. A lounge and high tables complete the range of possible uses.

    An important component of the atmosphere is the quality of the light. The relatively low level of natural light led us to consider the lighting by diversifying the sources and their modularity in order to adjust the ambience throughout the day.

    Photography: Germain Herriau