Case Study

HY­DRAULIC LIFTS AND MIN­I­MAL­IST ESPRESSO TAPS TURN A STAN­DARD SHIP­PING CON­TAINER INTO A STRIK­ING TEM­PO­RARY CAFÉ

Azure - - CONTENTS - WORDS _Eric Mutrie PHO­TOGRAPHS _S­cott Nor­swor­thy pi­lot­cof­feeroast­ers.com, williamson­williamson.com

A Toronto cof­fee com­pany ex­tends its brand to ru­ral On­tario – via ship­ping con­tainer

In true sum­mer-house fash­ion, Pi­lot Cof­fee Roast­ers’ sea­sonal pop-up in On­tario’s Prince Ed­ward County dis­tills the bur­geon­ing espresso em­pire’s pri­mary out­lets into a smaller ver­sion that opens up to the great out­doors. Credit Williamson Williamson for the skill­ful down­siz­ing. Back in 2013, Pi­lot co-founders Jessie and Andy Wilkin en­listed the ar­chi­tec­ture stu­dio – then Williamson Chong – to cre­ate their roast­ery’s Toronto head­quar­ters. Since then, the firm has de­signed two more cof­fee shops for Pi­lot and has another in the works. For the com­pany’s cot­tage-coun­try out­post, the ar­chi­tects drew de­sign el­e­ments from pre­vi­ous Pi­lot lo­ca­tions. “We were fol­low­ing a nat­u­ral train of thought,” co-prin­ci­pal Betsy Williamson says. The pop-up’s counter, for in­stance, is lined in the same white-oak pick­ets that grace the sig­na­ture curvier bars in Pi­lot’s ur­ban cafés. Be­hind it, min­i­mal­ist Mod­bar espresso taps are op­er­ated via un­der-counter con­trol mo­d­ules tucked next to a fridge and an ice ma­chine, with power and wa­ter supplied through hookups to a nearby ice cream shop. To house it all, a 2.4-by-6.1-me­tre cor­ru­gated metal con­tainer con­sti­tuted the per­fect pre-made shell. “Some­times, you work to mask the tough­ness of a ship­ping con­tainer,” Williamson says. “In this case, we re­ally wanted it for what it is: It keeps things se­cure, and it keeps them dry.”

Although the pop-up’s smaller foot­print ne­ces­si­tated a more lin­ear counter than the sin­u­ous ones in Pi­lot’s per­ma­nent cafés, one cor­ner is curved to keep with tra­di­tion and to sub­tly lead cus­tomers’ eyes to the steel condi­ment shelf. The...

Hy­draulic lifts en­able two sides of the con­tainer to be raised and propped into place by pull-down legs, pro­vid­ing shade and shel­ter from rain.

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