Mercury Coffee Bar, Detroit

The custom counters were designed by Zago Architecture and fabricated locally. The laser-cut steel was powder-coated silver to give it a shine that reflects the surrounding colors, without resorting to a more expensive material that would have taken the project over budget. They also designed the butterfly display case on the back wall to ply the café’s wares.

The staircase leading down to the basement level is also made from laser-cut steel, this time coated white. The angular construction of the risers mimics the geometry of the counters and the color fields in the ground floor space--which were achieved using an epoxy coating from Kwasny Flooring and Lining Systems--while the more sedate palette of black and white transitions into the less visually energetic brick space below.

If Edward Hopper had painted Nighthawks in 2009, it might have looked a little something like Zago Architecture's new Mercury Coffee Bar, a renovation project that brings vibrancy--both literally and figuratively--back to this corner of Detroit.

Counter detail. The steel counters were formed from one sheet of laser-cut metal (seen unfolded in this diagram). The sheets were then taken to a shop that bent and welded them into their final form.

Basement and Floor Plans

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