North Vancouver, BC
Photos/ Ema Peter & Andrew Latreille
Contractor / Humphries Construction
Two Rivers Meats is a butcher, charcuterie, and restaurant concept developed to feature their organic local meats. The project was executed as a collaboration between Vancouver design firms Campos Studio and Domain Creative.
Located in North Vancouver which developed as a working waterfront that left an industrial area along most of its shore. Behind that a series of large malls and car oriented streets sprung up after the war to serve growing residential neighbourhoods.
In 2007 when it began providing high quality local organic beef to Vancouver restaurants Two Rivers Meats set up its production facility in a generic warehouse building from the 1950’s situated between the back of the malls and the waterfront industrial area. After becoming a successful restaurant supplier, they decided to start Two Rivers Meats – The Store
Carved out of their ten thousand square foot production facility a space was created to provide high quality ethically raised beef and charcuterie. The concept evolved to include a licensed eat-in kitchen where their meats could be grilled over a wood fire.
The concept for the store draws from the immersive experience of traditional Municipal Markets, places to both buy and consume food, where the business have both butchers and cooks working side by side and their cured meats are displayed prominently.
The design placed the customer at the centre of the space, on three long custom tables on top of a large logo in the terrazzo floor and surrounded by the butchery, charcuterie, and kitchen. This unpretentious dining area is lit with the same LED strip lighting that light the whole space and was designed to be seen as part of the working areas.
Along with the traditional meat cases the butcher area has visible cutting and dry age areas glassed in behind the retail. The dry age cooler can be seen from the whole shop and customers come right up to it on their way to the washrooms.
The charcuterie area is defined by a custom refrigerated cabinet that runs its length and is reminiscent of the hanging dried meats found in markets. It is also where drinks are served and all the orders for the kitchen are taken as the concept purposefully did not provide table service.
Opposite the butchery is the kitchen, clad in stainless steel and with its open wood grill, from where aroma of grilled meats makes for tempting spectacle that can be seen from the dining tables.
The working areas were all clad in traditional butcher tiles. Though ubiquitous the layout was such that no tiles were cut, providing a subtle intentionality to the execution of the design. In addition, the tiles were set at angles on thickset so that reflections and sunlight sparkled in abstract ways.
The exterior of the building has a pergola that runs the length of the building. Its language was abstracted to provide for a glass cover. The structure of the patio was used to rest a simple industrial sign at the scale of the mall signage nearby.
The butcher, charcuterie and restaurant have become a destination for the customers of Two Rivers Meats who appreciate the honesty and simplicity of the design and its industrial surroundings of a bottle return depot and industrial product suppliers.