Forno Cultura

Forno Cultura

Ja Architecture Studio
Toronto, ON, Canada
Project Year

Riley Snelling

Forno Cultura

Ja Architecture Studio as Architects

Forno Cultura is a popular contemporary artisanal Italian bakery, one of Toronto’s essential food shops, with a cult-like following among architects and gastronomes alike. Ja Architecture Studio was approached to design the bakery’s fifth outpost in a building on the popular Queen Street West: a 1950’s mechanic shop turned condominium sales centre, set back from the street by a parking lot. The owner wanted to turn this industrial building into a production kitchen and cafe. The existing building was stripped back and repurposed by dividing the large space into two distinct halves--each with a different function and spatial quality. The minimally detailed cafe is juxtaposed with a busy pastry kitchen, in full view as customers walk along the serving counter that separates the two spaces. A large barrel vault wraps the front wall over the eating area, stopping short of the serving counter, and intersecting with the vault of three large windows, to create a unique geometry accentuated by natural light. While much of the existing facade is left as a patchwork of old and new, the large custom-designed and fabricated steel windows take advantage of the oversized existing opening of the old garage doors, offering a framed glimpse from the street of the layers of leisure and labour happening behind the glass.

This story is available in multiple languages
Share or Add Forno Cultura to your Collections
Project Credits
Seona Reid Building, Glasgow School of Art
next project

Seona Reid Building, Glasgow School of Art

Glasgow, United Kingdom - Build completed in 2014
View Project