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COVER — 21 Toronto rowhouse renovated by Levitt Goodman Architects. Photograph by Ben Rahn/ A-Frame
Renos ROOM AT THE TOP TOP — 15 Toronto’s II BY IV brings post-modern design to a heritage building. By Leslie C. Smith
WATER WORKS — 33 Best and brightest new products for the bath. By Erin Donnelly and Michael Totzke DEPARTMENTS INSIDE — 8
A PLACE IN THE SUN — 21 Architect Janna Levitt sheds some light on a Toronto rowhouse. By John Bentley Mays LIFE IN THE FAST LANE — 28 Antonio Tadrissi has transformed a standard loft into a glamourous space that’s more rock ’n’ roll than a trashed hotel room. By Erin Donnelly
WHAT’S UP — 9 WHO’S WHO — 40 LAST WORD — 42 Design on the fly
Canadian design takes a trip around the world in Enroute magazine. By Erin Donnelly
January/February 2009 VOL.46 NO.1
12 ANNOUNCING THE
Twelfth Annual Best Of Canada Design Competition INTERIORS
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Serendipity Each of the three residential projects featured in this issue came to us in a different way. Yet they belong together, in more ways than one. The condo-loft by II BY IV Design (“Room at the Tip Top,” page 15) arrived by snail-mail – out of the blue, with no introductory call or e-mail. A gift, this playful, masculine, modern space. I contacted II BY IV immediately and said we had to have it for the magazine. The rowhouse by Levitt Goodman Architects (“A place in the sun,” page 21) I went after. In anticipation of our residential issue, I contacted Janna Levitt, one of my favourite architects, to see if she had anything for us. She did: two projects, in fact, from which I chose the one I like best – a once-gloomy worker’s cottage now filled with light and air and art. The loft by Prototype design lab (“Life in the fast lane,” page 28) I retrieved from a battered box beneath my desk. The project had originally been sent in as a submission to our annual Best of Canada competition. Though it hadn’t won an award (I was present at the judging), I had filed it away in my mind as a possibility for our residential package. Each year, managing editor Erin Donnelly and I like to rescue one or two Best of Canada entries that divided the judges but delighted us – such as this rock ’n’ rolling bachelor’s pad. Planning the issue, these three projects – among all those we considered – seemed to fit together. Though strikingly individual, they had things in common: they’re all in Toronto, they’re all renos, and they all make room for art. Only after the stories were written did we realize they shared something else: they were each designed for a single occupant – the condo-loft for a young doctor in search of a personal retreat; the rowhouse for an art consultant with a growing collection of books and artworks; and the loft for a carefree, jet-setting entrepreneur. That’s the kind of unlooked-for element that thrills an editor. Michael Totzke firstname.lastname@example.org
8 CANADIAN INTERIORS January/February 2009
fire made modern
JAN./FEB. The AGO’s Danish connection Renoed and re-imagined by Frank Gehry – and reopened this past November to near universal acclaim – the Art Gallery of Ontario is furnished with Danish design selected by the AGO and the worldrenowned architect. A total of 16 Danish design companies were chosen to furnish main parts of the gallery with prod-
ucts, such as chairs, benches, lamps, cutlery and floors. Danish design is also available in the gallery’s shop. Says the AGO’s Matthew Teitelbaum, “The timeless and elegant lines of the Danish furniture and design complement the
AGO’s architecture, meeting the museum’s high aesthetic standards.” Through several leading Danish supporters and the generosity of the design manufacturers, the AGO purchased more than $1.5 million worth of Danish furniture and design at a significant discount. The products of well-known Danish design icons (including Arne Jacobsen, Hans Wegner, Poul Henningsen and Georg Jensen), along with contemporary designers, are found in the AGO’s new Frank restaurant, Café AGO, Norma Ridley Members’ Lounge, an espresso bar and contemporary galleries. “This project is an exceptional story of the opportunities created when culture and business work together, says Danish Minister for Culture Carina Christensen. “It is a permanent imprint for Denmark in Canada.” The SuperDanish project was initiated two years ago, when Frank Gehry enthusiastically embraced the Danish offer to give the new AGO an extraordinary Danish design profile. Denmark’s honourary consul general, Arne Nordtorp, and trade commissioner Peter Mørk have worked closely with the AGO on selecting a Danish design solution with focus on comfort, quality and functionality. Every design product has been carefully evaluated and chosen by the AGO, the gallery’s interior consultants B+H Architects and Gehry himself.
Says Poul Erik Dam Kristensen, Denmark’s ambassador to Canada, “Danish design at the Art Gallery of Ontario is a testimony to the worldwide recognition that Danish design has achieved over the past 50 years.”
Clockwise from top Collage pendant lamp by Louise Campbell; The 7 chair by Arne Jacobsen; Copenhagen cutlery by Grethe Meyer; Flamingo chair by Johannes Foersom and Peter Hiort-Lorenzen; Swan chair by Arne Jacobsen; and Quack serving jug By Maria Bentsen.
January/February 2009 CANADIAN INTERIORS 9
Chairs of chairs Michael Thonet introduced his solid bentwood chair in Vienna in 1859. Known as the “14,” it was developed specifically to appeal, and be affordable by, broad levels of the population. Little did Thonet know that he had created what would become the first mass-produced chair in the world; or that it would launch his eponymous company’s international reputation in the 19th century. Today, the company is run – out of Frankenberg, in North Hesse, Germany – by the fifth generation of the Thonet family, direct descendents of Michael Thonet. With its simple, unfussy shape and high level of functionality, Thonet’s 14, also know as the “coffeehouse chair,” marked the beginning of a new aesthetic appeal. Homes, cafés and restaurants suddenly looked quite different – lighter, and less opulent. What’s more, it was the first flat-pack chair. This revolutionary process enabled the chair to be constructed from six components and a handful of screws. As a result it was easily shipped all over the world and assembled on site. Now known as the “214” chair, Thonet’s masterpiece turns 150 this year. Its quality was – and remains – so high that the chairs survive for generations (many of those mag layout.indd 1
5/8/2008 9:11:17 AM
produced in the 19th century are still in use today). It has been in continuous production, with more than 50 million chairs produced to date. It is, quite simply, the most successful industrial product in the world. Happy 150th, then, to the 214. This is a chair with legs.
Top Thonet storage area in Marseille, France. Above Thonet grinding shop. Below The chair that started it all.
DXcellence At a celebratory dinner in November, held in its delightful digs, the Design Exchange honoured 64 Canadian design projects – in 12 categories – from across the country. Judges chose award winners based on function, profitability, aesthetics, innovation, accessibility and sustainability. Ranging from architecture to visual communication, the 12 categories included three devoted to interior design. Best of Category in Interior Design: Commercial went to Kasian Architecture Interior Design and Planning for its Kasian Toronto Office. Located in Liberty Village, the office was conceived as a working lab to embody best practices, show theory in action, and serve as a benchmark for client’s corporate offices. Best of Category in Interior Design: Residential went to Dubbeldam Design Architects for its Cabbagetown House. The primary design challenge was to create a contemporary renovation within the shell of a 100-year-old home in Toronto’s Cabbagetown neighbourhood. Best of Category in Interior Design: Temporary or Portable went to Chase International for its Clear Spirit Marketing Centre, located in Toronto’s historic Distillery District. The objective was to design a marketing centre lobby that contrasted
with the historic essence of the building’s exterior. Multiple winners in the three design categories – each netting an Award of Excellence and Award of Merit – include Gow Hastings Architects Inc., Cecconi Simone and Kantelberg Design. A full list of winners is available at www.dx.org/dxa.
Above Clear Spirit Marketing Centre, by Chase International. Left Cabbagetown house, by Dubbledam Design Architect. Bottom Kasian’s self-designed Toronto Office.
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Oh, the humanity It all began with tree planting. On the job for several years, Chris Rothery saw parts of British Columbia most people don’t know exist and gained an intimate knowledge of the land. That connection gave him an uncommon understanding of where wood comes from. One night he lay awake, thinking about building a chair, then got out of bed and proceeded to sketch one. He hasn’t stopped designing and building ever since. Rothery went on to earn a diploma in Fine Furniture from Camosun College in Victoria, B.C. In 2006, he started OnlyHuman Furniture. The
Victoria-based studio specializes in custom designed and manufactured furniture from the finest woods, including engineered bamboo, one of the world’s most environmentally friendly construction materials. Even when working with traditional woods, OnlyHuman focuses on reducing the environmental impact. Last year Rothery and his partner, Christine Stack, expanded the business. They added a small retail boutique to promote his work and also bring cutting-edge design from around the world to Victoria. OnlyHuman is the exclusive dealer in the city for Vancouver-based Bocci, along with the modern Dutch masters Moooi and Droog Design. Why the name “OnlyHuman”? “My feeling is that
it’s the ‘flaws’ that give someone character. I hate Botoxed faces! Give me crow’s-feet any day – they show confidence, knowledge and wisdom,” says Rothery. “The objects I love and the ones I create must have that same confidence in themselves. Though they function very well, they’re a long way from perfect – and I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
Centre stage at OnlyHuman is Chris Rothery’s red-lacquered poplar guest chair with brown leather seat.
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Light equals might – creative use of mixed halogens, fluorescents and incandescents gives visual punch to the space, and visually separates functional areas in the loft from each other. The lights also add warmth that repeats in the European-style engineered strip flooring.
Room at the Tip Top Toronto’s II BY IV brings postmodern design to a heritage building. — By Leslie C. Smith
Photography by David Whittaker
January/February 2009 CANADIAN INTERIORS 15
16 CANADIAN INTERIORS January/February 2009
There are condos, and then there are condos. The latter group surely includes Toronto’s Tip Top Lofts, a remodelling of the old Tip Top Tailors warehouse and office headquarters at 637 Lakeshore Boulevard West. Five storeys of light-coloured stone, carved and gilded in all the right places in the appropriate Art Deco manner, the original structure was created for the Canadian clothing retailer by Bishop & Miller in 1929. In 2002, the now-heritage building was sold to Context Development, which added three glassed-in floors of two-storey units on top. Tip Top’s condo-lofts all feature high windows and ceilings, providing wonderful, unobstructed southwestern views of the waterfront (rare in this city smothered by chock-a-block towers). And units in the original building are furnished with huge exposed cement pillars and ductwork. It was at this prestigious address and in one of these airy units that Dan Menchions, principal in Toronto’s II BY IV Design, found himself in 2007, discussing a commission. The owner, a young doctor, was seeking “a personal retreat,” Menchions says. Too busy with his career to fuss over furnishings and fixtures, “he asked us to ‘give him a lifestyle.’ ” Although II BY IV is perhaps better known for creating stylish retail, restaurant and bar-lounge environments, around 10 per cent of its work is residential. Naturally, much of this these days is centred on condos, which can present a challenge both in terms of space restrictions and, in the case of the Tip Top loft, a tall-ceilinged, slightly chilly, open-concept design. However, “Lofts don’t need to feel cold and sterile,” says Menchions. “You can create spaces by placing the furnishings, rather than relying on walls.” The pre-installed kitchen in the central living area was not, therefore, isolated from the dining area by a typical work island or bar counter. Instead, a stunning, two-tiered Murano glass chandelier hangs above the round dining table as if pinpointing one’s exact centre of focus. And Menchions has merely sketched in the living room by means of a dark grey wool carpet, anchoring a similarly coloured sectional. The soft grey, along with the warm walnut tones of an Eames armchair, the room’s long, marble-topped side console, and European-style engineered walnutstrip flooring, imparts a strong whiff of masculinity, well suited to the owner’s bachelor lifestyle. This relatively neutral colouration is enlivened with punches of tangerine in the sectional’s throw
Opposite There are no barriers between the loft’s pre-built kitchen and new dining area. Instead, the space is simply sketched in with a table, comfortable armchairs, and stunning two-tiered Murano glass chandelier overhead. Below The bathroom’s marble vanity and granite basin pick up the grain of one of the building’s original exposed concrete pillars. A clear bronze-tinted mirror along the opposite wall, shown reflected in the medicine chest’s mirror, opens up space in what is essentially a shotgun configuration.
January/February 2009 CANADIAN INTERIORS 17
Top A 10-foot-high walnut veneer headboard, “haloed” with LED lighting, adds dramatic effect to the bedroom, as does the cantilevered marble nightstand and eye-catching sculpture made from fire-torched wooden spindles. Centre and bottom A walnut-and-leather Eames armchair and ottoman, along with the flannel grey sectional and rug, signal masculinity, softened by colourful throw pillows and art glass pieces on the sidetable. The handrailed ladder leads to a small mezzanine – a loft within a loft, so to speak. Opposite Raw concrete and exposed ductwork meet cultured elegance: the dining area is dressed with a focal point chandelier and select pieces of contemporary Canadian artwork, making the seeming dichotomy work. A side console in walnut topped by white marble extends through to the living area, joining the two “rooms” in continuity.
18 CANADIAN INTERIORS January/February 2009
pillows, saturated hues from the room’s scattering of Canadian art and art glass, and a single wall finished in a striking bronze powdercoat. A handrailed ladder situated nearby leads to a small mezzanine that the designer added, taking full advantage of the space’s height. Light, too, can be employed in various ways and at various levels to further define the interior. Menchions has used a mix of halogens, fluorescents and incandescents to highlight certain focal points, including the artwork. There is no downlighting here; rather a perimeter wash around the walls provides appropriate levels of illumination – levels that can be adjusted for different moods and times of day, from day bright to intimate night. “I think the space is really spectacular,” says Menchions. “The entire condo’s square footage is only 950 feet, but it feels much larger. We used pocket sliding doors as much as we possibly could, because they’re a lot more forgiving of space. And mirrors – a large, leaning one
in the living area, and bronze ones in the bathroom and bedroom – help create that expansive sensation.” The bathroom, like the kitchen, was already positioned before II BY IV’s arrival. But, as Menchions mentions, a clear bronze-tinted mirror along the bath wall lends the illusion of depth to what is essentially a small, shotgun room. Centrally punctuating this mirror is one of those original cement columns, whose mottled tones Menchions picks up in the vanity’s granite bowl basin and marble top. Another reflective effect, a customized acid-etched bronze mirror with horizontal bronze reveals, is framed by the bedroom’s far wall. A millwork closet is situated to one side, with a guest chair and ottoman before it. The bed itself is a sleek affair, with a straight walnutveneered headboard that rises halfway up the wall, haloed behind by warm LED backlighting. Adding further interest to the space is a slab of marble cleverly cantilevered out of the wall to serve as
a night-stand, plus an intriguing sculptural installation made from tall, firetorched wooden spindles. In such a modern, slicked-back setting, filled with avant-garde fittings and art, the latter is a stand-out, offering as it does the only hint of old-fashioned furniture – made all the more amusing because it is, of course, not furniture at all. Perhaps one should view it as a solitary salute to Tip Top’s heritage designation. cI
January/February 2009 CANADIAN INTERIORS 19
A place in the sun Architect Janna Levitt sheds some light on a Toronto rowhouse.
— By John Bentley Mays
Photography by Ben Rahn/A-Frame
January/February 2009 CANADIAN INTERIORS 21
You have to wonder how Toronto’s working-class Victorians made do with the rowhouses they commonly lived in. For the most part, these dwellings were small, narrow and dark, with squinched bedrooms, squinty windows and kitchens just big enough for a hefty iron stove. Turning one of these old worker’s cottages into a modern home is never a simple job. Done right, such a transformation demands a keen appreciation of limits, and considerable imagination when it comes to bringing light and air into oncegloomy interiors. But such are the gifts of Janna Levitt, principal at Levitt Goodman Architects, whose recent $300,000 overhaul of an 1883 Yorkville rowhouse sets a new, high standard for renovations of this demanding kind. Levitt’s client, an art consultant with growing collections of paintings, prints, drawings and African artifacts, among other things, wanted space for her books and artworks, places to work and en-
22 CANADIAN INTERIORS January/February 2009
tertain, and, above all, areas awash in sunshine, that most precious natural resource in the midst of the metropolis. Levitt’s response included strong changes to the south-facing rear of the house. Down went the kitchen (a one-storey add-on from a previous renovation), and up from the new foundation rose a crisply modern, two-storey annex. The first level houses the kitchen, which has been outfitted with a Jenn-Air refrigerator and stove, cabinets from Ikea and tile flooring in textured white porcelain. An island in the kitchen sits atop rollers, so it can be pushed out of the way or pulled out into the centre of the room to provide a space for informal dining. Counter stools by Arper Pamplona complete this kitchen ensemble. Large box-framed glass panes in the rear wall and door admit sunlight into this white and stainless steel kitchen, and offer a view out to a charmingly tough little urban garden designed by Scott Torrance, who planted it with such
hardy standards as bamboo, cotoneaster and service berry. (An attractive birch tree already stood on the site.) The upper storey of the annex is the new, bright heart of the renovated house. Dedicated to the pleasures of reading, watching television and just relaxing, this peaceful room is flooded with light from the rear windows and also from a skylight above. The ample, sunny space is simply furnished with a Le Bambole orange two-seater from Kiosk and a white leather recliner by Jeffrey Bernett, as well as one or two items of Nova Scotian folk art – quite enough to provide a cozy retreat, up among the topmost branches of the birch in the back garden, away from big-city noise and bustle. Though a large wall-like door can be swung round to close off the den, light still glances into the inner areas of the house through a high clerestory window. Down the well-lit hall from the den on this second level are the comfortable bedroom – whose original Victorian base-
Overleaf A $300,000 overhaul has brought an 1883 rowhouse in Toronto’s tony Yorkville neighbourhood into the modern age. At the south-facing rear of the house, Janna Levitt, principal of Levitt Goodman Architects, tore down a one-storey addition and created a new, crisply modern, two-storey annex – bringing light into a once-gloomy interior. Opposite The open-plan living and dining room is united visually by dark wenge flooring, white and beige
paint, and a subtle play of leather and maple millwork. The quiet colour scheme is accented by the client’s extensive collection of art. Above The kitchen has been outfitted with a Jenn-Air refrigerator and stove, cabinets from Ikea and tile flooring in textured white porcelain. Below An island in the kitchen sits atop rollers, so it can be pushed out of the way or pulled out to provide a space for informal dining. Counter stools are by Arper Pamplona.
boards Levitt retained, and reproduced in the study next door – and the client’s home office, which opens north, out to the quiet, dead-end street. The washroom, like most other places in this house, is bright, modest and efficiently chic, with a dual-flush toilet by Toto, Zucchetti taps, a sink by Catalano and a drop-in tub by Thalassa. Back downstairs, in the open-plan living and dining room, Levitt knocked out an obstructive pillar, then re-strengthened the ceiling with a single horizontal I-beam. The staircase, which runs up beside the I-beam, has been lifted and straightened in the renovation. The result is a clear sweep of space between front door and kitchen, all of it unified visually by dark wenge flooring, white and beige paint, and a subtle play of leather and maple millwork. The dining room table is beautifully illuminated by a suspended system created Michele de Lucchi and Gerhard Reichert for Artemide. The easy, quiet colour scheme is accented by sidetables fashioned from red jewel-like plastic by Marcel Wanders, and, of course, by the client’s art collection, which adorns every free wall. Most of them small, some purchases, others gifts, the artworks reflect a broad and eclectic taste, but one that runs to the expressive. There are African
January/February 2009 CANADIAN INTERIORS 23
Opposite In an ingenious move, the architect made a piece of millwork thick enough to serve as both the door to the basement and a broom closet. Below left The upper storey of the annex – a peaceful place to read, watch TV or relax – is flooded with light from the rear window and skylight above. White leather recliner is by Jeffrey Bernett. Below right The bathroom features a dual-flush toilet by Toto, Zucchetti taps, a sink by Catalano and a drop-in tub by Thalassa.
24 CANADIAN INTERIORS January/February 2009
masks, a sculpture of seated twins from Cameroon and iron bracelets from Mali – presents from the client’s brother and father, both frequent visitors to Africa. Among her older pieces of Western art are a painting by the well-known Canadian abstractionist B.C. Binning, a print by Matisse, and a 1971 work – her first acquisition – by American pop artist Jim Dine. Most of the works on display, however, are recent paintings and works on paper, and they include surging drawings by Canadian artists Susanna Heller and John Scott, two typically elegant pieces by Tony Scherman, and powerful photographs by Geoffrey James and Peter MacCallum. While the living and dining room is only 15 feet wide, Levitt’s skillful use of colour and light and her spatial rearrangements have given the cottage a sense of breadth and calm liveability that lifts it clear of the restrictions in the original scheme of 1883. This successful renovation has given another old Toronto house a fresh chance to live in the modern age. c I
January/February 2009 CANADIAN INTERIORS 25
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Life in the fast lane Antonio Tadrissi has transformed a standard loft into a glamourous space that’s more rock ’n’ roll than a trashed hotel room.
— By Erin Donnelly
28 CANADIAN INTERIORS January/February 2009
Photography by Nathaniel Anderson
The comfy couch that dominates the living room was custom designed for the project, by Prototype design lab’s Antonio Tadrissi, as were many of the pieces in the space. A perfect place to crash out when crawling upstairs is just too much effort, it features theatre-style blackout curtains to keep the sun out – even if bedtime comes after sun rise. In order to open the room up to the dining area, creating an open main space, the original staircase was removed and a new floating stair was installed in the opposite direction.
Pleasing the client and pleasing the end user of a space are, or at least should be, the goals of design. For residential spaces it may seem an easier task: if the client and user are the same, there are less people to make happy. But to create a truly successful design for a home is pretty tricky business. Not only does everyone have different tastes, but also vastly different needs. And if a home doesn’t meet the needs of its occupant, it can make life difficult. When Antonio Tadrissi, of Prototype design lab, was commissioned to transform a standard loft into a more personalized space for a close pal, he already had a head start. Walking into the project, Tadrissi already had a pretty good understanding of his client’s life style, which dictated much of the design, down to the smallest detail. “He’s a single, young, jet-setting guy,” explains the designer of his entrepreneur friend. “He’s into stuff like fast cars and fashion, so he wanted to bring that into his place.” Tadrissi elaborates that his client/friend figured he had reached an age and point in his life that this would be his last bachelor pad and therefore wanted to do it up right. The end result is very rock ’n’ roll: dark, sexy, glamourous, indulgent, and at times a little extravagant.
Tadrissi, an intern architect, was involved right from the beginning, even getting the chance to give the thumbs-up on the Toronto loft before it was purchased. Despite a badly planned layout, typical of cookie-cutter condos, the space had some unique features, such as a twostorey living room, that gave it potential. The project started with two main structural interventions. The first was to move the washer and dryer, which were located right near the front door – a standard positioning that is hard to see the logic behind. By moving them, the field of view was opened up, removing the suffocated feeling the foyer previously instilled. The laundry is now located in the generously proportioned guest bathroom on the second floor. With two and half baths, the extra space there had been wasted, and now the laundry facilities are much closer to the closet. Brilliant. The second structural change was to rip out the staircase the visually dominated the main floor. Tadrissi swung the direction of the climb around when installing a new floating staircase that is very subtle and transparent, acting as a point of interest, rather than a necessary imposition. The open space left is clearly defined as two rooms, dining and living,
without the intervention of walls. In the dining room, just to the right as you enter, a large, dark table sits in front of a wall papered in velvet-textured blue and black, underneath a huge blue blownglass chandelier that creates an ambience that would put most restaurants to shame. The lamp, the table and the chairs are all custom designed by Tadrissi for the project, as is most everything else. Even the wallpaper is one of his designs, realized in one of the many shades of blue – the client’s favourite colour – used throughout. Adjacent to the dining space is the living room, which is dominated by a large grey-blue tufted sofa. Another of Tadrissi’s custom pieces, the sofa is designed with a “formal” side built for sitting and an “informal” side for stretching out. A perfect place, as he points out, to pass out after a night of drinking. And no need to fear the sun streaming in through the double-height window occupying the entire front wall: the designer has thoughtfully added heavy black velvet drapes that fully block the light. He mentions that since his friend rarely spends time at home during daylight hours, the curtains most often are closed, but that they can be opened to reveal a pretty spectacular view of the city, day or night.
January/February 2009 CANADIAN INTERIORS 29
Below and opposite In order to help define spaces, Tadrissi created one of his award-winning Scripted Walls, placing it next to the flocked wallpaper used in the dining area. The blue blown glass chandelier features 75 individual balls and was designed by Tadrissi and handcrafted by a local artisan. Bottom The back wall of the bedroom is in a subtle titanium grey, inspired by race cars and specially selected for the fast-car-loving client.
Opposite, on the back wall, one of Tadrissi’s Scripted Walls signals the transition from dining to living room. The Scripted Wall, a concept for which the designer won a 2008 Best of Canada Award, features artwork of the client’s choosing etched into 100-year-old mushroom board. The coffee table is in the same wood, but encased in glass, like a museum piece on display. Oh, and the room is, of course, fitted out with a flat screen TV and top-of-the-line sound system. Upstairs, the master bedroom is a room that is truly, shall we say, built to impress. The custom-designed bed features a tall, purple velvet headboard and a high-gloss finished base. The back wall is in a race car–inspired titanium grey. Insert double entendre here. “Everything was specifically customized for the client,” says Tadrissi. “For instance, he has a lot of hats, so I added somewhere to put like eight or nine hats, right inside the front door. Custom design to this point is only possible when you really know the person and take time to anticipate their needs from the design.” c I
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January/February 2009 CANADIAN INTERIORS 31
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WATER WORKS Best and brightest new products for the bath. â€” By Erin Donnelly and Michael Totzke
CESANA With Cesanaâ€™s Plano shower enclosure, designed by Giulo Gianturco and Mario Tessarollo, less is more. The 8- or 10-mm safety glass walls are fixed to the tray, which is inset, allowing the shower mat to sit level with the floor. A steel support bar joins the glass panels at the top. The mat is available in a variety of sizes, in natural aluminum, teak or Pral (a composite of natural minerals and acrylic components). www.cesana.it
Two new products have been added to Zucchetti’s Isy collection of taps and bath accessories: Isyfresh, a tap system, and Isyshower. Designed by Matteo Thun and Antonio Rodriguez, Isyshower can be coordinated with all Isy products and includes three different shower columns with thermostatic or traditional mixers. Three hand showers, with different jets that can be combined with slide rail, wall-mounted or ceiling-mounted shower heads, are also offered. www.zucchettionline.it
With the Axor Citterio M Collection, “M stands for modernity, metropolis and, not least, Milan, Antonio Citterio’s home,” says Philippe Grohe, the head of the Axor brand. The internationally renowned designer/architect’s M features a comprehensive range of products – including vanity/ sinks, bidets, bathtubs, shower and thermostats – scaled down for city living. Shapes have been thought through and refined down to the tiniest detail, where gentle curves give way to clean and even surfaces. www.hansgrohe-usa.com
Acclaimed Spanish designer Patricia Urquiola originally created this unconventional bathtub for a hotel in Vieques, Puerto Rico. Thanks to Agape, it’s now been made available to the masses. A contemporary restyling of an old-fashioned tub, the free-standing Vieques bath features a white finish on the inside and a dark grey steel finish on the exterior; it can be complemented by a teak shelf and backrest. www.agapedesign.it
34 CANADIAN INTERIORS January/February 2009
4—VILLEROY & BOCH
Delicate floral filigree enhances lean, linear basins in Villeroy & Boch’s Memento New Glory line. Two finishes are available: tone-on-tone white, lending a lavish touch to a minimalist bathroom (shown); and white ceramic with actual platinum detailing, taking a room to extravagant new heights. Two generous sizes are available: a 31 ½- by-18 ½-inch washbasin; and a 47 ¼-by-18 ½-inch dual version for two. www.villeroy-boch.com
A leading manufacturer of sanitary ceramics, bathroom furniture and accessories, Duravit recently introduced a large range of wall-mounted toilets. Wall-mounted toilets and concealed carriers are not only environmentally friendly (saving approximately 11,000 gallons of water per year, per family of four), but also make for better hygiene: once the bowl is mounted, cleaning is easy. Ideal for those dealing with small spaces, these toilets can save up to two square feet of space. www.duravit.com
Delta’s Dryden faucet collection’s clean, geometric forms are inspired by the Art Deco period of the 1920s and ’30s. A range of lavatory, tub and shower options are included in the collection, as well as coordinated accessories. Available in Brilliance Stainless, Venetian Bronze, Chrome or Aged Pewter finish, the Dryden look conjures images of the Hollywood glamour of the Art Deco era and is suited for retro or modern baths. www.delta.com
Hansgrohe’s Axor brand has launched its 10th North American bath collection, created by French designer Jean-Marie Massaud. Axor Massaud’s signature piece is the lav mixer, which features an asymmetrical and expansive shelf-like surface. A delicate sheet of water cascades from the edge of the shelf into a white, molded-mineral washbowl; the slim base of the mixer bends upward into a slight curve. Other items in the collection include bathtubs, showers, bidets and accessories. www.hansgrohe-usa.com
Jaclo showerheads and handshowers merge conservation and comfort, using advanced technology that incorporates flow regulators, rather than restrictors, to keep water pressure and flow strong. The company’s new Lumiere showerheads – Tondo (shown) and Quadro – are composed of a semi-transparent cover in several different damask-style patterns and designs and a variety of colours. Both showerheads pull double duty as LED lights and are constructed of stainless steel. www.jaclo.com
January/February 2009 CANADIAN INTERIORS 35
Cosmic’s new Flow collection, designed by Matin Ruiz de Azúa, combines rigid, geometrical forms with soft, undulating lines designed to mimic the movement of water. The natural aesthetic is further enhanced by the materials used, which include wenge, oak and charcoal finishes and Bath Stone in matte or gloss. Taps are included in the collection, as is a new adjustable mirror which can be tilted to change the angle of focus. www.icosmic.com
Washbasin 08 is the newest addition to Laufen’s Palomba Collection, designed by Ludovica and Roberto Palomba. The collection was originally introduced in 2005 and designed to present ceramics as a landscape and as a challenge. The new fixture defies the laws of ceramic production, with an asymmetrical shape created with a variation of thicknesses and curves and nonbarycentric support. The generously proportioned sink was a red dot award recipient in 2008. www.laufen.com
Alape has introduced the WT.RX line, made up of two stand-alone column washstands. Both the oval WT.RX450.QS and the square WT.RX700 plumb straight into the floor, allowing either to be placed anywhere in the room, a great advantage for the current trend towards larger, more open spaces for the bathroom. Composed of the company’s signature glassed-steel material, the forms are durable and impact resistant. www.alape.com
36 CANADIAN INTERIORS January/February 2009
4—Il BAGNO ALESSI
Il Bagno Alessi brings three European bath manufacturers – Laufen, faucet company Oras, Italian furniture and accessory producer Inda – under the Alessi design umbrella. One, a family of smooth porcelain forms contrasted by straightlined brass faucets and fittings, was created by longtime Alessi collaborator Stefano Giovannoni. The curvaceous collection includes a freestanding tub, which can also be connected or fitted to the wall; washbasin with integrated pedestal; and freestanding toilet and bidet. www.ilbagnoalessi.com
The latest offerings from Italian faucet manufacturer MGS include the Roman Tub Filler, a new floor-mounted faucet. The model includes a handshower and is offered in three different spout options: R spout, SQ spout and T spout. Each is available with hot and cold handles or a single control deck mounted handle. In matte or polished stainless steel finishes. www.mgsdesigns.com
The new Versatile collection from Sonia puts the mod in modern, with vibrant colours, graphic motifs and groovy forms. The freestanding and fitted furniture pieces allow custom console arrangements to be built to the users specifications. The units are in a water resistant multilayer marine-grade wood, in walnut, wenge, white and ash finishes, with multiple door options. Coordinating mirrors, hook and accessories are also available. www.sonia-sa.com
Dornbracht’s Tara. Collection represents the evolution of the classic faucet, created by Sieger Design nearly 15 years ago. The updated version is a more precise incarnation, streamlined with sharper lines and reduced handles and rosettes. New additions include a freestanding, single-hole washstand mixer and a strikingly tall shower. Special edition velvety black matte and white matte finishes are currently available, as well as platinum, platinum matte and polished chrome. www.dornbracht.com
Kohler’s new Fountainhead VibrAcoustic bathtub utilizes technology-based sound therapy to create an ultimate relaxation experience. The tub features four “experiences” that combine sound, vibration and lighting, and the user-friendly interface also allows the user to listen to the music of their choice by hooking up a computer, MP3 player or radio. Drop-in and exposed deck installation options are available. The tub is offered in two sizes, each with two reclined positions. www.kohler.com
January/February 2009 CANADIAN INTERIORS 37
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Who’s Who TEKNION IIDEX PARTY Teknion held its annual post– IIDEX/NeoCon blues bash in Toronto’s Entertainment District. *Photos courtesy of Teknion
1 — Hilda Aywaz and Antonella Fuoco of Raymond Chiapetta Associates. 2 — Amanda Blomdin, Cheryl Carswell and Jessica Carter of BH Design Consultants.
Warming up to winter
—By David Lasker
DX GALA Fashionistas were out in force at the fifth annual Design Exchange Black & White Fundraising Gala, this time saluting Canadian celebrity fashion couple Joe Mimram, chair of the Fashion Design Council of Canada and co-founder of Club Monaco; and Kimberly NewportMimram, creator of the trendy label Pink Tartan and Porter Airlines crew outfits. 2
40 CANADIAN INTERIORS January/February 2009
1 — Carol Rapp, a member of the Art Gallery of Ontario Board of Trustees; art consultant Jane Zeidler and her husband, architect (and 2007 DX Gala honouree) Eb Zeidler. 2 — Peter Caldwell, VP finance and administration at Ontario College of Art and Design; and his partner, medical illustrator Stephen Mader; Colleen Baldwin, VP, Straticom Planning Associates; and her partner, Gordon Henderson, principal, Tailwind Capital. 3 — David Campbell, CEO of ad agency Group M; Fashion magazine publisher Lilia Lozinski; and fashion writer David Livingstone. 4 — FashionTelevision host Jeanne Beker, Kimberley NewportMimram and Joe Mimram. 5— Masked merrymakers David Marcus, president, AyA Kitchens and Baths, and his wife, U of T stem-cell researcher Radha Chaddah
DX AWARDS From the leek and celeriac bisque with almond lemon pesto to the chocolate brandy gâteau with orange chocolate glaze and gingersnap tuile, the Design Exchange Awards, presented by Canadian Business, was the place to dine as well as network. 3
1 — Paul Uffelmann, associate at Deutsche Bank Securities; Gillian Batcher, owner and goldsmith at Pash Jewellery Design; and Philip Hastings and Valerie Gow, partners, Gow Hastings Architects. 2 — The clients, Rémi Bédard and Daniel Collard, owners of Loft Encadrex, the high-end Montreal frame shop; and the designers, Smith Vigeant Architects partners Stéphane Vigeant and Daniel Smith. 3 — Kasian’s Dean Matsumoto, principal; Heather Ploeg, designer; Lois Wellwood, principal; Janine Grossman, associate; Bill Chomik, principal; and Tina Zalac, marketing. 4 — Cathy Garrido, Andy Thomson, Trevor McIvor and Graham Smith, partners at design-build firm Altius and part-owners of Sustain Design Studio. 5 — Fleur-De-Lis Interior Design partners Peter Lunney and Eric McClelland. 6 — Inger Bartlett, president of the eponymous interior design firm, and her husband, Marshal Stearns, partner.
AGO LAUNCH The official press launch of Frank Gehry’s grandly renovated Art Gallery of Ontario. 1 — Mathew Teitelbaum, AGO CEO; the famous Frank; Gilles Ouellet, president and CEO, Private Client Group, BMO Financial Group, and Deputy Chair, BMO Nesbitt Burns; and Charles Baillie, AGO president and former TD Bank CEO. 2 — Cindy Newton, sales rep with Coldwell Banker realty; art writer and former NOW arts editor Deirdre Hanna; and Peter Fallico, host of HGTV’s Home to Flip.
January/February 2009 CANADIAN INTERIORS 41
Lounge in a Luggage
Design on the fly Canadian design takes a trip around the world in Enroute magazine. — By Erin Donnelly For the second year, Enroute, Air Canada’s inflight magazine, is promoting Canadian design with its Palm Enroute Awards in Mobility Design. In 2007 the mag first teamed with Palm, Inc., a mobile products company, to hold the first competition, which invites Canadian designers to submit proposals for innovative designs that combine form, function and mobility to make travel better and smarter. For the 2008 awards, a stellar team of judges was assembled: multiple Best of Canada Award–winner Matthew Kroeker, a Winnipeg-based industrial designer; MarieJosée Lacroix, who was responsible for Commerce Design Montreal and for the city’s UNESCO city of design designation in 2006; Janice Keay, marketing director of Palm Canada; Enroute’s art director Reanna Evoy; and William Gibson, the influential science-fiction writer who coined the term ‘cyberspace.’ ”
Top prize went to On-Track, a batterypowered scooter that whisks the user through the airport at 10 clicks per hour. The device features a built-in GPS system that will prevent the wayfinding challenged from getting lost on the way to the gate, and a handy hook to tow your luggage. The concept, which involves docking stations placed around the terminal to recharge the battery, was created by Jean-François Jacques, founder of Météore Design and new-to-the-scene Nicolas Bernal. The judges also chose three honourable mentions, including Lounge in a Luggage, a dream tote for tired travellers. Three colourcoded variations offer different seating options, incorporated into a piece of luggage. The stool version is green (for going soon?); another version, which opens to create a backed bench, is yellow (for going before too long?). These two are designed in a convenient carry-on size. The larger red bag (meaning stop right where you are, this is gonna take awhile?) opens to a lounge chair that you can really stretch out on. Designers Élaine Fortin and Virginie Lamothe even included storage for a small blanket.
Urban Camp Hotel
42 CANADIAN INTERIORS JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2009
J. Enrique Enriquez’s wacky Urban Camp Hotel concept is a kind of Canadian take on Japanese capsule hotels. The mobile habitat can be quickly arranged for special events or any site where no hotel is yet built, using tents, toilets and other necessities, even Wi-Fi access. Gibson called Parisian transplant Romain Zolfo’s Luceo cushion, “the emotional equivalent of an old-fashioned hot water bottle.” Adding a touch of warmth to hotel rooms, airport lounges and plane interiors, the chromotherapeutic cushions feature energy-efficient, long-lasting electroluminescent diodes in a silicone sleeve that makes it easy to pack. All four winners were published in Enroute, which is distributed on all Air Canada flights. Keep an eye on enroutedesign.com for info on next year’s competition. c I
ÂŠ 2008 All Rights Reserved. Global Design Center 08.0367 Shown in Carmelized Bamboo (BAMC) with M9 seating in Tekno Salsa.
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Published on Jan 1, 2009
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