McKinley Burkart 2017 

McKinley Burkart 
Railtown Studio
Vancouver, British Columbia, 

Material: EPS, Polyurea, Scenic Paint, 
Industrial Coatings

With a portfolio of projects and accolades for their innovative approach to design, the firm has worked with the likes of La Maison Simons, the Craft Beer Market and Stanley Park Brewing Co, Hedkandi Salons, Aritiza, and Earls Kitchen + Bar. And when it came to the design of their Vancouver studio, they employed West Coast themes and a touch of inspiration from their Calgary space. 


“We have pieces that are very similar to the Calgary office and we tried to bring some of our spirit. The front reception desk is very similar but then it has this West Coast palette and of course the industrial building. Whereas in Calgary, we’re in a very slick hotel downtown office building.” 

“All of the artwork is from my own personal collection. I collect art and when we opened the studio, I sent out my favourite Vancouver artists. We have work by Anthony Redpath who’s a local photographer, a painting by Graham Gillmore, and Ben Skinner did the pink painting we have inside.” 


But there’s one artwork that you can see when you enter the studio that you wouldn’t typically find in an office space – a 10-foot Kewpie Doll. The doll was in fact made by the company founders as part of an ongoing art project they have been doing for a number of years.

“It’s a conversation about nostalgia and wonder, what happens when you make something bigger or smaller? There was this idea of the West Coast beach, driftwood colours, and it almost felt like maybe something that had washed up on shore. A sort of detritus.”

McKinley noted that there’s a collaborative work environment in both Vancouver and Calgary. “We’re super collaborative architecture and 
interior designers. Vancouver’s on fire, there’s so much to do, we’re growing quickly here already."


Even though the company is growing in Canada and internationally, McKinley states how they still “think like a very small firm in terms of culture, design, and collaboration.”

Portions from an Original Publication by Catriona Hughes Dec 23, 2017


Carvel Creative developed the digital sculpture of the Kewpie Doll, as well as completing Its fabrication and installation. The sculpture, developed from designs provided by McKinley Burkart, stands, an imposing 10 feet tall and is one of many objects adorning their creative Vancouver office space.


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