Pilot Coffee Roasters, Toronto

Williamson Williamson, Toronto

Photography by Scott Norsworthy

The rapid growth of Pilot Coffee Roasters, which boasts six cafes across Toronto, necessitated an enlarged administrative office. Having used every inch of available space in the original facility for production, the only option for accommodating more admin space was to expand upward. An addition was conceived that would literally bridge above the existing facility with a 67-ft.-long steel truss, thereby obviating the need to add columns that could disrupt the already densely programmed production floor below. Thin tension members suspended from secondary beams allow the addition to hang above the existing roof. Borrowing from the industrial language of the original building, the secondary structure and roof enclosure were designed with open-web steel joists and corrugated metal deck. To highlight the structure and the lightness it provides, all visible members (truss, beams, joists and hangers) were painted in Pilot’s corporate-identity yellow, imparting a touch of the Paris Pompidou Centre’s colour-coded mechanical-system gaiety. That tech-y metallic look gives way, appropriately, to warmth in the adjoining executive office and flex space, enclosed by a rift-cut white-oak wall and oak-paneled cupping room.