Milky’s, Toronto

Batay-Csorba Architects, Toronto

Photography: Doublespace Photography

In a hurry? Got somewhere to go? Milky’s wants to put a caffeinated beverage in your hands to improve your day. Occupying a space too small to linger in, they still wanted the grab-n-go experience to be dazzling. It begins with wrapping the floor, walls and ceiling with 1,300 modular wooden panels and interlocking marble segments “typically reserved for the highly formal and repetitive patterns derived from traditional inlay decoration,” say the designers. “In Milky’s the modular logic of this system is instead used as a framework for disrupting such static patterning, with interlocking pieces of light and dark wood producing a high-contrast tessellation which expands and contracts, shifts and realigns in a series of strata, enveloping the customer in a sort of “caffeinated” space.” All other elements within the space become camouflaged within this graphic counterpoint; thin metal shelves slotted into the patterns lines, sleek white countertops, cabinetry and equipment is powder-coated white to blend into the background, and the street face opens with floor to ceiling glass, casting the interior in vivid light such that the dynamic patterning becomes the predominant focus of the space.