A COMMUNAL ROLLED-STEEL SINK SERVES AS A HANDY CENTREPIECE IN A RENOVATED MONTREAL EATERY
Stuffed pita is a dish best served to clean hands. Enter new Montreal restaurant Falafel Yoni’s playful centrepiece: a sculptural communal wash basin ready to cleanse grubby paws – and to rinse away what little tahini sauce diners haven’t already licked off their fingers at the end of their meal.
“My plan with the owners was to invest in one fun focal element – the rolledsteel sink – and then keep the rest fairly simple and affordable,” says architect David Dworkind, who cut his teeth designing stark but brash residences at the Montreal firm Naturehumaine.
While it may look straightforward, Dworkind’s pared-back scheme for the 88-square-metre space in fact grapples with several complex challenges, from a zoning restriction that limited the number of seats to just 12 to an uneven ceiling. “There were all of these different bulkheads left behind from years of bad renovations,” he says. “The place had plumbing and electrical going every which way.”
To keep to the project’s tight budget, Dworkind found his solutions to both problems in off-the-shelf materials. “A lot of ideas came together on Home Depot runs,” he says. “I just went looking for things with texture that I could work to really accentuate the beauty of.” His hands-on approach paid off: Using steel, wood panels and corrugated roofing sheets, the architect successfully elevated low-cost fare into a gourmet experience. daviddworkind.com
To unify the various ceiling heights, oriented strand board panels became a series of baffles. They accent a new central bulkhead installed to consolidate plumbing, wiring and lighting. The restaurant’s grey, white and maroon colour palette was inspired by a New Balance sneaker that caught architect David Dworkind’s eye. Dworkind used red asphalt roofing sheets to line the base of the restaurant’s eat-at counter, configured into a W shape. Terrazzo flooring underfoot is the lone remaining element of the space’s former life as a café. The restaurant’s logo, a youthful character, was created by graphic designer and tattoo artist Dan Climan. In a budget-friendly move, bar counters, lighting fixtures and even the bathroom soap-dispenser holder were all laser cut from a single sheet of steel.