Donut Stop / Workr

Architects: Workr – Ashton Cates
Location: Amarillo, Texas,
Project Year: 2008
Construction Area: 274 sqm
Budget: US $722.750
Contractor: Southwest General Contractors
Photographs: Ashton Cates


A new donut shop in the Panhandle of West Texas celebrates post-war roadside Architecture along Route 66. This is the fourth new building completed by the Donut Stop in the past five years, all designed by Ashton Cates, the son of Donut Stop owners Rosemartha and Jim Cates.

Inspired by mid-twentieth century American roadside architecture such as diners and coffee shops, the new Donut Stop, situated directly adjacent to a major freeway, emphasizes movement through its shape. Its soaring cantilevered roof and horizontal reveals lend the building a dynamic shape. On another level, and in a more sublime sense, the building was conceived as carved from the forces of nature such as wind, water and ice.

The building rises up 25 feet to the East, facing the freeway and the East morning light, when a donut store is the busiest. Clad in stained cedar panels on the exterior, the panels are held off the waterproofed wall by an inch, creating a double wall that is more energy efficient by dissipating the heat of the suns rays in the summer, which helps to keep the building interior cooler.

The interior carries the theme of horizontal stripes into the painted white walls. This was partly inspired by the horizontal striations in the walls of nearby Palo Duro Canyon. A structural brace on the East side of the building was left exposed and celebrated as the modern day equivalent of traditional ornamentation. This frame also allows maximum light through the soaring East window and a column-free interior. Custom white oak booths, stained and polished concrete floors and a rust colored Eurospan ceiling finish off the space.

“I wanted to create an appropriate landmark; appropriate as a well functioning donut factory but also as a landmark in the spirit of its related building typologies” says designer Cates. Add this store to your list of roadside attractions to visit when driving across the USA on historic Route 66!

Cite: "Donut Stop / Workr" 07 Jan 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed 29 Jul 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=11196>

5 comments

  1. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Neat and economical. You can tell that this shop got what they wanted and needed, without putting holes in their pockets………get it! It does seem a little wide or really big for a donut shop. Must be an anchor store.

    Oh, and what’s the deal with the lonely triangular window at the top corner? Seems like a few more could of been added all across that plain wall since it is begging for some attention when someone is getting their sweet satisfaction at the pick-up windows. Yes. It exists now as a huge boring wall that just needed a little more attention. I’m pretty sure cost was the issue. Nice sensible project.

    that is all

  2. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    An elegant and beautiful structure.

    The curved counter is an irritating extravagance. It appears as an elegant counter-form in plan but does not seem to have been successful in built reality.

  3. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    How elegant and beautiful can this really be when you submit to having a sign next to it telling you what it is. I will be more intrigued when it becomes a Jiffy Lube in 5 years.

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