Dollars to Doughnuts: Glaze
The haptic experience of making and eating doughnuts inspired Kilogram Studio in their transformation of a car garage.
Biting into a doughnut is an ephemeral experience, amplified by tiny details like texture, temperature and decoration. While Toronto-based COPS Doughnuts see themselves not as a doughnut shop but as “a creative studio that happens to sell doughnuts,” they still needed a place from which to sell. So when approached to design such a space “we asked ourselves what setting would prepare you for that exquisite moment of a first bite?” says Kfir Gluzberg, founder and principal at Kilogram Studio. The answer was to look at building materials the way a baker looks at ingredients.
In Glaze, visitors are surrounded by textures frozen in time. Creaminess is expressed through concrete especially in joints around the service counter “where float spreads stucco and pressure extrudes mortar, like icing,” says Gluzberg. Gloss is represented in the exposed aggregate of the polished floors, stainless steel, rippled glass, shadows cast by window muntins and swirly handles on the doors.
Colour was also an important detail, as COPS is known for their proprietary drizzled glazes that change on a weekly basis. Entering Glaze, one’s gaze is drawn to colourful and bright packaging, the only colours in a space that is otherwise monochromatic and highly textured. Facing west, the shop is filled with the rectilinear shadows of the windows facing Lewis Street during opening hours. The light filters through glass screens that are slightly larger than human scale and separate the front and back-of-house. The fluted glass elements are angled and direct customers to the order and pick-up counters. “LED circles ripple in the glass to create a dream-like environment, like a dopamine rush of pleasure,” says Gluzberg. The reflections are extended in the large stainless steel countertops, shelves, frames, and mirror at the entryway.
“Commercial car garages are a wild card in Toronto’s downtown,” says Gluzberg. “Their rich textures, exposed structures, and large openings allow for minimal renovations to result in beautiful daylit spaces. The century old brick shell with concrete floors was tarnished with decades of fumes, oils, and chemicals. There was an obvious parallel between the absorptive nature of the historic masonry textures and the rich textures of the doughnuts that would replace its industrial nature.”