JJ Bean Marine Building
"The Marine Building is one of the oldest and most beautiful towers in downtown Vancouver, and we are proud to call it our home."
The newest JJ Bean Coffee Roasters cafe located inside the historic Marine Building is one of the most visually interesting in the city. Sure they were given a rich visual design era to reference, but starting from the sign outside it's a modern interpretation of art deco where many would have skimped or just entirely abandoned.
In an interview John Neate, founder of JJ Bean, spoke to their cafe design philosophy on the opening of their Yaletown location back in 2008:
“Having everything different isn’t the smartest thing when you’re growing a business,” Neate says. “But I don’t want to be seen as a large corporate chain with cookie-cutter locations. We want to respect the neighbourhoods we go to, knowing that every one has different expectations.”
The space is dominated by a row of huge black FontanaArte Avico pendant lights while the underside was gilded by the designers of the cafe with gold leaf that shimmers against the light from the bulbs.
Like their Alberni and Port Moody locations, the Marine Building cafe has a mezzanine floor reaching up to the 20-feet high ceilings to maximize their usage of the space along with a set of communal tables in front of the coffee bar. The cafe of course uses JJ Bean's coffee which you can taste on thier La Marzocco espresso machine or a French press.
- The architect of the JJ Bean inside of the Marine Building is DIALOG which is a multi-disciplinary Canadian design firm with offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton and Toronto. Their Vancouver office was previously known as Hotson Bakker Boniface Haden and have worked with JJ Bean on the design of almost all of their other cafes.
- Opened January 14, 2013.
- The Marine Building probably deserves 10 pages to describe the history and unique elements incorporated into the design. You can read John Mackie's account of 355 Burrard that he wrote for The Vancouver Sun:
"Seventy-five years ago, the cornerstone was laid for the grandest and most opulent skyscraper Vancouver had ever seen. Built at the onset of the Great Depression, the Marine Building would prove to be a financial bust, driving its original owners broke. But artistically, it was a complete success, arguably the best building ever built in Vancouver, and one of the finest examples of art deco architecture in the world."
- Oxford Properties Group is currently building the new MNP Tower a 36-floor skyscraper rising directly behind the Marine Building (which they also own). One of the architects working on the tower is Musson Cattell Mackey Partnership (MCMP) which also designed the new lobby and retail expansion at 1166 Alberni which was the location of another JJ Bean cafe.
- The black geometric feature extending up the side wall and the length of the ceiling is made of fiberglass.
- The Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel building across the street has an art installation that uses a poem by British artist Liam Gillick wrapped around the south and east corners of the building repeating up from the 5th to the 22nd floor:
"lying on top of a building the clouds looked no nearer than when I was lying on the street"
JJ Bean Coffee Roasters Marine Building | jjbeancoffee.com | 353 Burrard Street, Vancouver V6C 0B2 | 604-558-2469
Monday - Friday 6AM - 6PM