Project: Luca Ice Cream Shop – New Frontage
Client: Yolanda & Michael Luca
Location: Musselburgh
Value: £200k
Listing: Conservation Area
Date Complete: 2022


In 2020 MLA Architects have been commissioned by the owners of S. Luca ice cream to have their Musselburgh shop front redesigned. S Luca ice cream shop and factory is situated on the west side of the high street in Musselburgh, approximately 6 miles from Edinburgh.

The first occupancy by the family was shown on the 1915 census. Scappaticco Luca was named as a tenant of the shop at number 32 high street. Over the years his tenancy continued and slowly started incorporating other parts of the building. By the 1940’s number 32 and 34 high street was in the ownership of the family.

The most recent intervention is estimated to have been carried out in the 1980’s. At this time new signage over both front elevations, and a metal canopy were added. The shop front also got redesigned.

Design Approach
The factory and cafe buildings are not listed; however, they are situated in the Musselburgh conservation area. The conservation area does not have an appraisal which would set guidelines for alterations and developments.

The first option could be applied to strengthen the heritage aspect of the family business. This would be an Edwardian styled shopfront strengthening the “Olympia refreshment room” days when the family started their entrepreneurial journey. Reverting back to a four pilastered ground floor elevation could frame the office entrance, pend, and shop front.

The second option could focus on the success of the company by celebrating the time of the factory development in the mid-century. The modernist ethos could be highlighted here with a wide variety of new/futuristic designs. Although care should be taken to achieve a right balance of contrast between old and new appearances.