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85 High St, Northcote 3070
(03) 9481 7623 or barrycoffeeandfood.com

Barry is the latest brainchild of the family behind Pillar of Salt and the most recent Touchwood cafe. The brief for Techné was to transform the existing shell of an original Victorian corner shop café and reflect through the architecture, an openness and community-minded setting.

Barry is located at 85 High Street, Northcote, and is a welcoming sight for passers-by coming from next-door’s Palace Westgarth Cinema. The light-filled interior and bright finishes create a fresh and modern aesthetic.

“The owners wanted to use the simplest, no-fuss name that they could,” says Alex Lake from Techné. “This is reflective of the thought behind the offering of the café and the design of the fitout, both of which pursue an honest interaction.”

The façades of the original café were resurrected with operable steel glazing, and a new entrance was established on the side street to activate both streetscapes. Internally, the dark palate of the original building was refreshed with brighter finishes and colours and the texture was regained by revealing the materials and structure of the original building.

The design intent by Techné Architects was to be functional and simple. “The architecture was paired back to a point of bare simplicity in order to place focus on the inhabitation of the space,” Alex continues. “Barry is both open and honest, both in its ideology and its spatial experience.”

The interior fit-out from the communal tables to open service counter enables an honest interaction between staff and patrons. This sentiment is further reflected through the design of the shelving system, which was inspired by the design of the String shelving system by the Swedish architect Nils Strinning.

Similarly, the exterior shopfront of the building has been converted to include an external bench for public use, promoting interaction with the community.

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