The clients' objective was to create an ice cream cafe that is modern and welcoming that would set a new standard in downtown Abbotsford, a growing suburb of Vancouver, that until recently was known for its hipster cafes and breweries. It should be modern but not pretentious; inviting for families and people of all ages. It should become a community fixture and harken simpler times.
The design concept, centred on the handmade ice cream, was to create a modern and vibrant gelateria that speaks to the local community, both customers and the food suppliers alike. This would be achieved by incorporating modern materials that reflect the iconic gelaterias of Italy, and the textures and colors of ice cream and ice cream cones.
The iconic Rombini tile, designed by the Bouroullec Brothers for Mutina, was chosen as a beautiful connection to the ‘cone’ or ‘waffle’ texture that is below the ice cream. Just as the delineation between the cone and the ice cream, a datum line was used in the interior to bring color and texture to the senses. It mimics this idea that your hand ‘feels’ something when you eat an ice cream cone, even if you eat from a cup, everyone resonates with the feel of a cone in hand.
The result is like nothing currently in Abbotsford, giving the community an elevated experience that one would expect to find in metropolitan Vancouver. Even though the materials and installation methods honoured a very limited budget, using these materials in refined and considered ways elevate the mundane into something very unique and beautiful. The space planning allows for a clearly defined service area and seating area, divided by a large communal bench.