By Gagandeep Ghuman
Published: June 23, 2012
Are you lovin’ it?
That is a question McDonald’s might be asking about its architecture in Squamish.
McDonald’s is planning to add dollops of sheen to its facade, giving it a more contemporary, west coast look.
The fast food restaurant is hoping to undertake extensive renovations this summer, adding and elevating signs for maximum exposure for travelers on Highway.99.
Given it location, McDonald’s has become almost synonymous with Squamish. Now, McDonald’s might even be takeing it up a notch, with a ‘Welcome to Squamish’ sign just underneath the entrance.
On Thursday, June 21, McDonald’s representatives laid the plan before district’s advisory design panel committee.
“We want to communicate a more contemporary and a relevant brand to our customers,” said Johnathon Pedlow, McDonald’s real estate manager.
Last year the megacorporation announced it would spend $1 billion on revamping 1,400 stores in Canada.
The sprucing up includes interiors that would be made more inviting and comfortable, and feature bright colours, fireplaces, and flat-screen televisions.
The Squamish McDonald’s exterior will get a gloss-over, starting with the roof.
The typical red mansard roof will be straightened for an upward sweeping roof with exposed timber, above which will tower the name McDonald’s .
A prominent new exterior feature would be red ‘blade’, a central and attention-grabbing architectural element, an ‘eye-catching’ home for the corporate logo.
McDonald’s representatives said the building front is unique to Squamish, a departure from the traditional style.
“There are a lot of elements here that you won’t see in any McDonald’s across the country or the US,” McDonald’s staff added.
McDonald’s will leave 15 existing bike racks untouched, although it plans to alter the drive-thru area to make it a two-lane driveway.
The advisory design panel is made up of prominent architects from Squamish and region.
Their job, as the name suggests, is to give impartial advice to the district on policy affecting the community’s physical environment.
Several concerns were raised about the McDonald’s design, but what the committee members found hard to digest was the number of signs (seven) the fast food company plans to put up on the exterior.
“This is signs, signs, signs every where,” said Barrat, a well-know architect.
The one the architects found most savourless was at the north end, a mini bill-board sign that screams McDonald’s.
“It’s more signage than architecture,” said James Tuer.
The sentiment was shared by other members who suggested McDonald’s take a second look at that one particular sign.
Jasmine Henzcel also suggested that McDonald’s consider wiping off a Mcafe sign, a brand that competes with Starbucks.
The representatives promised to take a second look at some signs.