As the season for scoops and cones winds down, feast your eyes on these three ice cream shop designs, where the spaces look as good as the offerings taste.
1 Mister in Vancouver, British Columbia
An operation that churns decadent ice cream from liquid nitrogen requires an interior that’s slightly slicker than the average scoop shop. Vancouver’s Scott & Scott Architects delivered for Mister, a recently opened storefront in the city’s Yaletown neighbourhood. The team transformed the loading dock of a converted early-1900s warehouse into a space that recalls both the building’s industrial history and the new ice cream-making method.
The brickwork was whitewashed and, in the production area, given a coat of thick gloss paint. The existing concrete slab floor, left over from the space’s previous tenants, was ground and left unpolished. The white-and-grey palette is interrupted by linear floor-to-ceiling storage cabinets, built from douglas fir plywood, then spray-misted with dye to achieve a faded burnt umber hue.
The countertop, dotted with a row of KitchenAid mixers in complementary shades of charcoal, burgundy and mustard, is made of soapstone sourced from a Quebec quarry. The material can withstand the thermal shock that can occur when working with the -196C nitrogen used to create Mister’s frozen treats. Behind the counter, in the food preparation area, a steel island has a galvanized finish that inspires “memories of cold from childhood,” according to the architects, and the experience of “sticking your tongue to the steel guard on a ski lift.”
2 Coolhaus in Pasadena, California
Catherine Johnson and Rebecca Rudolph, the architect and design duo behind Design, Bitches, have a reputation for creating vibrant, unstuffy interiors for eateries in Los Angeles and surrounding cities. They’re responsible for the two brick-and-mortar locations of Coolhaus – makers of architecture-inspired frozen treats, with names like Norman Bananas Foster – including this location in Pasadena, completed in August 2013.
In the central eating area, bench seating and an adjacent wall were treated to a shocking green, high-gloss paint. Behind the counter, a black-and-white graphic treatment of jumbled bubble letters is punctuated by the spelling out of Coolhaus in fuschia – one of the brand colours. The outlined text is a “subtle homage to pop artists like Andy Warhol and Claes Oldenburg,” say the designers.
3 Village Ice Cream in Calgary, Alberta
In 2015, Canadian architecture and design firm McKinley Burkart devised an airy, mint-accented interior for Village Ice Cream’s second storefront, in Calgary’s Britannia neighbourhood. When approached to design the small-batch ice cream brand’s third location, the firm decided on a slightly moodier aesthetic.
Black wood-panelled walls and black marble tile are broken up by the retro powder blue-tiled bar, topped with a brass counter. Brass is also found on solid wood bench seating, which tucks beneath a large-scale abstract painting by Calgary artist Megan Jentsch.