A convivial gathering place: In accordance with the owner’s intents, Zébulon Perron aimed at making Buvette Chez Simone an unpretentious and convivial gathering place therefore avoiding the prevalent minimalist and sometimes impersonal contemporary style. The inspiration was the European “buvettes”; unassuming and occasionally makeshift places where people gather for a drink.
At the center of the space an imposing bar, around which patrons can congregate, sets the tone; the atmosphere of the establishment is meant to be genial not stiff. The space was deliberately planned to encourage contact between people by offering them variety of scenarios. A raised section is furnished with small tables for more intimate encounters while on the lower levels are found an assortment of “T” shaped tables, standing bars and large communal tables to accommodate bigger groups.
With the use of materials such as oak and cork the designer references the house specialty: wine. In keeping with the idea of a buvette the colors radiate warmth and the chosen materials will ware well. The custom lamps are hung very low to create a sense of intimacy and evoke the illuminated garlands of the traditional buvettes.
The art of recycling and playfulness: Motivated by a desire that the spaces he creates have an enduring or perennial quality, Zébulon Perron attempts to endow them with a lived-in quality that gives the comforting impression that it’s always been around. At Buvette chez Simone this was accomplished by keeping some of the original architecture and through the use of recycled materials. Thus an entire wall was covered with old industrial shelves turned on their flat side creating a tiling effect, chairs from hospital waiting rooms act as seating around the bar, antique apartment doors where used for the main cellar and the terrace furniture was entirely built with old barn beams. The result looks unfinished, almost improvised but it is absolutely designed to the hilt.
An original touch is the bright orange electrical cables which connect the lamps and snake back chaotically to the existing electrical outlets. They add a playful element to the overall design and have become an integral part of the space’s identity.
Location: Montreal, Canada
Interior Design: Zébulon Perron
Awards: Créativité Montréal Grand Prize 2008, FERDIE Interieurs Prize for “Buvette Chez Simone” 2008