IN: Inspiration

Raising the bar

Architects build an ice cream bar that’s good enough too eat. Well, almost!


Handcrafted ice cream is certainly having a moment and one brand specialising in the flavourful technicolour treats caught our attention with its creative store design. Melborne-based Scroll Ice Cream commissioned architects One Design and Studio Twocan to design its pigmented concrete bar, which is inspired by the one-of-a-kind ice cream it serves. Scroll specialises in creating unique scrolls of ice cream, which is made by first pouring liquid ice cream onto a sub-zero tepenyaki plate. Then the ice cream is frozen flat and rolled with a blade to create the delicious rolls.

When approaching the design, the architects wanted to create an ice cream-like material that was fresh, fun, organic, durable and structural. “It led us to think… what if we could mix colours into poured concrete?” said the two design teams.

Using Twocan’s signature technique of layering concrete, One Design Office recreated the ‘icy layers of flavours and fruits’ in the bar’s design. To achieve this look, vibrant coloured concrete batches were mixed on-site before being poured into a formwork mould. The shop’s logo was then affixed to the front of the bar, with brass piping forming a framework around it.

“The monolithic facade of Scroll Ice Cream’s flagship store stands out in a crowd,” the team commented about the project. “The design looks to encapsulate both the product and manufacturing process of mixing icy layers of flavours and fruits.”

One Design Office, which previously created an aluminium tube especially for carrying large-format drawings, is the latest in a string of architecture practices to experiment with tinted concrete. Other designers who have used the technique include: Simon Astridge, who used pigmented concrete to create the pink facade of an extension to a North London house, and Architekten CM’s spiralling pastel-tinged walkways for a care centre for disabled adults.

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