Meghan and Steve Clarke, owners of popular local chain Tractor Everyday Healthy Foods, approached Measured with a design challenge: take Tractor’s brand identity of fresh and seasonal fast food and translate it into a spatial function.
We immediately dug in to learn as much as we could about what drives the Tractor brand and draws in their clientele. As architects, we wanted to take this information and reimagine it in the visual realm.
Since it opened its first location in 2013, Tractor’s concept has been based on transparency — simple, yet delicious healthy food prepared in busy, open kitchens embedded into their eateries’ bright and airy dining areas.
When the Clarkes decided to open their sixth Vancouver space as a pick-up-only location for customers who have ordered and paid via the Tractor Digital website or app, it made sense to bring the idea of luminosity and transparency to this site, too. But how to do so in the basement of an office tower in the heart of Vancouver’s financial district?
By staying true to the essence of the brand.
Located on the lower level of Parker Place at 666 Burrard Street and boasting over 1,800 square feet of prep and cooking space, the Tractor Digital Grab & Go Kitchen is less a virtual restaurant and more a massive open kitchen. Building on the idea that Tractor’s clientele is passionate about fresh ingredients and superb preparation, we created an immersive environment that brings them right into the operation, without losing the brand’s fresh, light and wholesome sensibility. Extensive glass panelling removes visual boundaries between the kitchen and the customer, giving the illusion that when you enter to fetch your meal, you are walking directly into the workspace. Electrical cabling trays installed in the kitchen are additionally repurposed as accessible shelves from which patrons simply grab their orders.
The atmosphere is kinetic and lively, with no waiting around. The open design speaks to people who favour transparency in their food choices — visibly fresh and healthy nourishment — and essentially lets them become part of the culinary experience.
Open since June 2019 for breakfast and lunch, the Tractor Grab & Go Kitchen has been a huge success. As for whether Meghan and Steve believe that we, ahem, measured up to the challenge, we’re pleased to say that we’re currently working on three more Tractor spaces – plus another Grab & Go location in Pacific Centre.
Special thanks goes out to Park Place landlord Quadreal – we couldn’t have transformed the unusual space without their enthusiastic assistance. Salut!