TORONTO – Steven Fong Architect fills the void between two warehouses with a shipping container for an urban scene akin to the powerline-ridden alleys of Tokyo. Home to design entrepreneur Alan and Lorne Gertner's lifestyle brand Tokyo Smoke, the gap construct is a concept shop to envelope the brand's three C's: coffee, clothing and cannabis. An up-and-coming haven for creatives in need of inspiration in downtown Toronto, Tokyo Smoke Found serves up cuppas and its own line of menswear – which can also be found in exclusive, national boutiques – alongside artisanal paraphernalia and legal forms of the recreational herb – once Canada gives the green light of course.
Gracing the garage door, a monochrome mural of kissing figures by Brazilian graffiti artist Alex Senna acts as a metaphor for the shop connecting the adjacent buildings. Making its presence eloquently known to passersby, the corrugated façade enclosing the 30-sqm venue can be slid upward to expose the café's counter, forming a breezy walk-up window during warm weather. Located within the painted strips of an adjacent loading zone, an outdoor terrace is bounded by grasses planted in Corten steel boxes. Vintage Eames chairs and white tables beckon the creative class towards Tokyo Smoke Found like moths to a flame.
Concrete floors with paths marked by chevrons – which typically denote bicycle lanes – lead patrons inside the store. Flanked by brick walls, the space is filled with a host of upcycled elements. Fugitive Glue's propane tanks turned pendants and garage flood lights hang above industrial wooden tables and metal racks loaded with magazines.
Photos Ben Rahn/A-Frame