Western Living Magazine
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Why we're loving Leckie Studio's modern and airy design of Small Victory Bread and Coffee.
Think of it as breakfast and a show: while many cafés put the emphasis on seating and leave the kitchen to the cooks, Small Victory Bread and Coffee made the food preparation the centre of attention. The baking space can even be seen through the street windows, giving it “a certain theatrical quality,” says Michael Leckie of Leckie Studio Architecture and Design, who designed the space with Javier Campos while still with Campos Leckie Studio. “It gives a more inviting presence from Homer Street.”The bakery and coffee shop opened in Yaletown in 2014 after a full renovation of the space by Leckie Studio, with a design inspired in part by the owners’ personal history with baking. “They’re the second generation of a family of bakers,” says Leckie. “Our design was determined by bringing the focus to the traditions and culture of baking.”The bright, open layout of the shop certainly makes Small Victory feel friendly and welcoming. “The original plan was for the café and bakery to be designed with an even greater emphasis on minimalism,” says Leckie. The plan was to stain the timber frame elements white to match the marble pieces, but in the end the team opted to keep the fir wood exposed in its natural colour. The flooring and wall panelling diffuses the soft white lighting, brightening the entire space. This is balanced with the beautiful and elegant brass wall sculpture—designed by Vancouver artist Ricky Alvarez—which picks up on the other brass accents in the space. The white marble coffee bar and the ceiling woodwork bring everything together to create a friendly ambiance that aims to celebrate small moments and everyday triumphs. The clean lines between oakwood flooring and panelling and bright white walls and fixtures are the foundation of this space. “The defining feature of Small Victory is the Carrara marble bar, which extends into the heart of the café,” says Leckie. “The use of the stone on the bar allows the light to reflect beautifully, defining the space with a graceful but humble minimalism.” Brass fixtures and detailing on the cabinetry parallel the custom-made wall decor, and pay tribute to the Beaux-Arts origins of Yaletown. The brass milk and cream taps “became a really popular feature of the café as a subtle subversion of a utilitarian detail,” Leckie explains. Lighting and shadows intersect with the crystalline brass sculpture to add more dimension. Leckie says, “The sculptural piece is intended to add a decorative element that plays with simple geometric form and the processes of the molecular alchemy that are crafted in a bakery.” Though the design is stunning, the real focus is on the food. “Our design was determined by bringing the focus to the traditions and culture of baking,” says Leckie.