Canadian studio Scott & Scott has recently converted an old Vancouver warehouse into a liquid-nitrogen ice cream shop. Mister is an ice cream shop opened by Michael Lai and Tommy Choi who were inspired to bring the liquid nitrogen process to Vancouver after experiencing the ice cream-making method in Asia. Mister’s ice cream is made fresh to order with liquid nitrogen freezing the ingredients rapidly, resulting in a denser, smoother and creamier scoop.
The shop is situated on the elevated loading dock of a 1912 warehouse loft conversion in the centrally located Yaletown district. Scott & Scott Architects designed the space in a manner which acknowledges the history of the building and celebrates the process of making the ice cream.
The space was stripped of earlier tenants embellishments, the existing concrete slab ground, the brickwork white washed and painted with a thick gloss paint in the area of production. Materials were selected and treated in a manner which is durable and consistent with the application of their use.
The working island was fabricated with plate steel and dip galvanized as a single element to support the protective glasswork and counter. The island is detailed in a manner that contains the heavy chilled mist and then allows it to vent. The soapstone counter used for the food preparation area was sourced from a quarry in Quebec. Soapstone was historically used in laboratories and is well suited to the potential thermal shock that may occur from the -196C nitrogen.
Functional storage was consolidated into a linear douglas fir plywood cabinet block which (along with the architect designed moulded leather, steel and wood stools) was finished in their studio using layers of spray mist applied dye. The resulting faded coloured finish is in concert with the room’s foggy, churning ice cream atmosphere.