Slideshow: Wood shut out in Montreal café’s brutalist design makeover
April 30, 2022 | 11:10 am CDT
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Photo By Eliott Légaré

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Photo By Eliott Légaré

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Photo By Eliott Légaré

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Photo By Eliott Légaré

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Photo By Eliott Légaré

MONTREAL – The newly renovated and renamed Osmo X Marusan café and bar makes use of a variety of materials including galvanized steel, brick, and polycarbonate, but not wood, for its minimalist furnishings. 

The furniture for the Japanese eatery was fabricated by MDT Mobilier, a Montreal-based steel design and production studio. Mathieu Domingue Trempe, founder, and Eliott Légaré, designer, of MDT Mobilier also designed the cafe’s interior. The duo was inspired by the space’s brutalist style and wanted to preserve its bare-building look and historical details, while at the same time making it even more iconic.

MDT Mobilier made the furniture to order. That includes the long, galvanized steel communal tables that occupy the centre of the 150-square-meter. Meanwhile, a brick bench that pays homage to the exposed foundation of the adjacent bicentennial building, runs along the angular walls.

In addition to the communal tables, galvanized steel is the material of choice for most other surfaces, tables, counters, and fixtures. Over time, this raw, reflective material will change under the surrounding environment and will develop a patina to give it a slightly more matte look. 

The chair seats, also custom-designed for the space, are finished in a sandstone red powder coat to create a link to the bricks in the foundation and bench. The existing base of the service counter, which was retained to avoid wasting material, is overlaid with polycarbonate and dimmable LED strips. 

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Rich Christianson | President/Owner/C-Level

Rich Christianson is the owner of Richson Media LLC, a Chicago-based communications firm focused on the industrial woodworking sector. Rich is the former long-time editorial director and associate publisher of Woodworking Network. During his nearly 35-year career, Rich has toured more than 250 woodworking operations throughout North America, Europe and Asia and has written extensively on woodworking technology, design and supply trends. He has also directed and promoted dozens of woodworking trade shows, conferences and seminars including the Cabinets & Closets Conference & Expo and the Woodworking Machinery & Supply Conference & Expo, Canada’s largest woodworking show.