Keeping Cool: An Architect-Designed Ice Cream Shop in Vancouver
Mister Ice Cream in Vancouver has the latest dessert trend: ice cream made with liquid nitrogen. (The technique has been popular in Asia for some time, according to owners Michael Lai and Tommy Choi, and in San Francisco, Smitten Ice Cream is in the lead.) Unlike ready-made ice cream, which requires stabilizers such as than eggs, the nitrogen technique only mixes sour cream and milk with flavors like sugar, salt or chocolate. According to them, the ice cream is denser, smoother and more creamy.
At Mister Ice Cream, the act of making is a spectacle in itself; a row of KitchenAid mixers is wrapped in a cloud of cold nitrogen, signaling to customers that the newly-made ice cream is close at hand. The boutique, designed by Scott & Scott Architects of Vancouver, is designed to show the process.
Photograph by Fahim Kassam, unless otherwise noted, courtesy of Scott & Scott Architects.
Above: Mr. Ice Cream occupies a 480 square foot elevated loading dock in a 1912 warehouse in Vancouver’s Yaletown neighborhood. Its designers, Scott & Scott, have designed some of our favorite restaurants in Vancouver, including Kin Kao, Torafuku and Bestie Currywurst. Photograph of Scott & Scott.
Above: Owners Michael Lai and Tommy Choi run KitchenAid stations.
Above: The brick walls have been whitewashed and the ice cream making area has been painted bright white. The original concrete floors were ground and left unpolished.
Above: At the back of the store, the architects installed a custom Douglas fir plywood cabinet wall, which the architects colored by applying a stain with a spray bottle in their workshop.
Above: The work counter is made of soapstone from Quebec. According to the architects, soapstone was traditionally used in laboratories, partly because of their resistance to thermal shock. (Liquid nitrogen is -196 ° C or -320 ° F.) Photograph by Scott & Scott.
Above: steel, wood and molded leather countertops designed by the architects.
Above: Steam lamps from the Canadian manufacturer of industrial lighting RAB are suspended above the production station. The sign announcing today’s flavors is made of dark blue Perspex acrylic.
Above: A wall of glossy white paint delimits the ice cream laboratory in the client area. Photograph of Scott & Scott.