Engaging communities one roast at a time
Infusing local flavour from each community keeps the designs freshly brewed.
- Parallel Universe
Providing great coffee is only a small portion of what JJ Bean seeks to contribute in the communities they serve. Like DIALOG, JJ Bean is committed to having a positive impact on their communities by providing interactive and engaging spaces. In the heart of the city or off a small tree-lined street, each JJ Bean inspires warmth and a sense of belonging with the clientele and their neighbourhood. Working together for over a decade has led to a long-time partnership and great understanding of one another.
- Local Flavour
It’s rare that an architecture firm is given the opportunity to work with a client that is willing to experiment with creative ideas to such an extent as DIALOG has with JJ Bean. The relationship extends back nearly 14 years. JJ Bean started as a small local coffee roaster with a passion for their craft and a desire to make a positive impact on the city. With 17 locations completed to date, one might consider JJ Bean part of a chain, however they remain true to their intentions and unique at every location. As a community-oriented business, the design of each of the cafés becomes part of its local context. Wood often makes an appearance in many of the locations. While not a requirement and certainly not expressed in every location, it is a material the owner and customers really identify with. It often helps visually balance the space while providing warmth to the more minimalist design solutions. The story of four of the more recent café locations are described below.
- Department Store Pioneers
JJ Bean Woodward’s reflects the varied history of the site. Woodward’s pioneered the concept of the department store in Canada and this being the second location originally constructed in 1903, was a landmark building with its famous Christmas window displays. Before it closed in 1993 it was an annual fixture in nearly every Vancouver family’s Christmas experience. With emphasis on the history of the original Woodward’s development, the design of the space is sensitive to both the historic and current politically charged underpinnings of the locale. The extensive cedar “walls” and details reference the original 1903 Woodward’s structure as well as add a layer of warmth to the interior of an otherwise stark shell space.
- Heritage Façade
JJ Bean Bidwell is part of recent mixed-use project with a heritage designated façade that was retained by the development. The original building saw many years of storied occupants, layers of additions and rumours of tenants involved in questionable activities. The design knits together the old and the new, accentuating the retained heritage aspects of the space. An inverted vault finished in reflective polished stainless steel echoes the arched windows and Spanish Mission Revival influence of the old building. Its distinctive interior highlights the history and sense of place, through material and colour palette.
- Toronto Bound!
Located in Toronto’s financial district two blocks south of Nathan Phillip’s Square, Adelaide is JJ Bean’s first location in Toronto’s downtown core. The Adelaide location compliments the local aesthetic with the use of dark wood, black marble counters, leather seating and golden light fixtures. On top of being PATH connected, JJ Bean Adelaide is also conveniently located close to major TTC and GO transit hubs, and offers patrons an outdoor patio in the warmer months. Toronto's second JJ Bean location on St. Clair Avenue opened in autumn of 2016.
- Project facts
Client: JJ Bean
Locations: 16 Complete
Projects To Date: JJ Bean Adelaide, Toronto, ON (2016) • JJ Bean Dunsmuir, Vancouver, BC (2016) • JJ Bean Cambie, Vancouver, BC (2015) • JJ Bean Lonsdale, North Vancouver, BC (2014) • JJ Bean Fraser, Vancouver, BC (2014) • JJ Bean Bidwell, Vancouver, BC (2014) • JJ Bean False Creek, Olympic Village, Vancouver, BC (2013) • JJ Bean Railway, Vancouver, BC (2012) • JJ Bean Marine, The Marine Building, Vancouver, BC (2012) • JJ Bean Port Moody, Port Moody, BC (2012) • JJ Bean Alberni, Vancouver, BC (2010) • JJ Bean CBC, Vancouver, BC (2010) • JJ Bean Woodward’s, Vancouver, BC (2009) • JJ Bean Yaletown, Vancouver, BC (2008) • JJ Bean Park & Tilford, North Vancouver, BC (2006) • JJ Bean Main Street, Vancouver, BC (2004) • JJ Bean Granville Island, Vancouver, BC (2004) •