BEST OF CANADA
Winners of our 16th annual Design Awards
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Fall 2013 VOL.50 NO.6
Fall 2013 Official publication of the Interior Designers of Canada
Martin Spreer Editor
Michael Totzke Deputy Editor
Peter Sobchak Associate Editors
Janet Collins, David Lasker, Rhys Phillips, Leslie C. Smith Art Director
CONTENTS 16th annual Best of Canada Design Awards
BEST OF CANADA PROJECT OF THE YEAR
Joelle Glasroth 416-510-5248
Regent Park Aquatic Centre
Beata Olechnowicz 416-442-5600, ext. 3543
Liz Callaghan Production
Jessica Jubb 416-510-5194 Senior Publisher
Tom Arkell Vice President of Canadian Publishing
Alex Papanou President of Business Information Group
Bruce Creighton Head Office
On the cover Project of the Year: the Regent Park Aquatic Centre, designed by MacLennan Jaunkalns Miller Architects
80 Valleybrook Drive Toronto, ON M3B 2S9 Telephone 416-442-5600 Facsimile 416-510-5140
Canadian Interiors magazine is published by BIG Magazines LP, a division of Glacier BIG Holdings Company Ltd. Tel: 416-442-5600, Fax: 416-510-6875 e-mail: email@example.com website: www.canadianinteriors.com Canadian Interiors publishes seven issues, plus a source guide, per year. Printed in Canada. The content of this publication is the property of Canadian Interiors and cannot be reproduced without permission from the publisher. Subscription rates Canada $38.95 per year; plastic wrapped $41.95 per year (plus taxes) U.S.A. $71.95 US per year, Overseas $98.95 US per year. Back issues Back copies are available for $10 for delivery in Canada, $15 US for delivery in U.S.A. and $20 overseas. Please send payment to Canadian Interiors, 80 Valley brook Drive, Toronto, ON M3B 2S9 or order online www.canadianinteriors.com For subscription and back issues inquiries please call 416-442-5600 ext.3543, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, or go to our website at: www.canadianinteriors.com Newsstands For information on Canadian Interiors on newsstands in Canada, call 905-619-6565 Canadian Interiors is indexed in the Canadian Magazine Index by Micromedia ProQuest Company, Toronto (www.micromedia.com) and National Archive Publishing Company, Ann Arbor, Michigan (www.napubco.com).
Thanks! We would like to thank Allsteel for the use of its incomparable Toronto Resource Centre, at which this year’s judging took place.
Member of Canadian Business Press Member of the Alliance for Audited Media
ISSN 1923-3329 (Online) ISSN 0008 - 3887 (Print) H.S.T.#890939689RT0001 Glacier BIG Holdings Company Ltd. Customer Number: 2014319 Canada Post Sales Product Agreement No. 40069240 “We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Periodical Fund of the Department of Canadian Heritage”.
BEST OF CANADA AWARD WINNERS Cossette V7 Advertising Agency
Commonwealth Community Recreation Centre
Dr. Mariano Ella Hands-On Centre, Art Gallery of Ontario
Rotman School of Management
Clear Lake Cottage
House in the Beach
World Kids Books
Edition Richmond Presentation Centre
The Massey Tower Sales Centre
Tensegrity Space Frame Light
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16 Their better judgment From left: Chantal Frenette (CF), Marco Polo (MP), Michael Taylor (MT) and Adele Weder (AW)
16th annual Best of Canada Design Competition
In the following pages, we showcase the Best of Canada award winners for 2013. The Canadian Interiors Best of Canada Design Competition is Canada’s only design competition to focus on interior design projects and products without regard to size, budget or location. We welcome submissions from interior designers, architects, decorators, crafts persons and design students. This year, we received 125 entries from across Canada, in nine categories: Office, Institutional, Hospitality, Residential, Retail, Exhibits, Marketing, Landscape Design and Product Design. (Alas, we received not a single Student Design submission.) The projects and products were each judged anonymously and on their individual merit. Our judges are Chantal Frenette, partner at Modo Creative; Marco Polo, associate professor of architecture at Ryerson University; Michael Taylor, partner at Taylor Smyth Architects – all based in Toronto; and design writer and curator Adele Weder, based in Vancouver. During the judging process, all four offered perceptive comments, which we’re delighted to share with you on the following pages. After careful consideration, discussion and debate, the judges chose 16 winners (with Landscape Design not represented); call them our “sweet 16” for the 16th annual competition (thought that little bit of kismet is purely coincidental.) These included Project of the Year: the luminous Regent Park Aquatic Centre, in Toronto, designed by MacLennan Jaunkalns Miller Architects. MJM is the big winner all around, earning three awards in total; the other two are for the Commonwealth Community Recreation Centre, in Edmonton (a joint venture with HIP Architects); and Clear Lake Cottage, in Seguin, Ont. The other dual winner is Cecconi Simone, earning two awards for two Toronto marketing projects: Edition Richmond Presentation Centre and The Massey Towers Sales Centre. Congratulations to all 16 winners.
—By David Lasker
Photo by David Lasker
Best of Canada Fall 2013 CANADIAN INTERIORS 7
PROJECT OF THE YEAR
Regent Park Aquatic Centre, Toronto MacLennan Jaunkalns Miller Architects, Toronto
Good things still happen in “Toronto the Good.” The Regent Park Aquatic Centre provides an important civic amenity to a neighbourhood near downtown that was long marginalized as a ghetto for the poor and disadvantaged. This crown jewel of the large-scale urban renewal project at Regent Park, boasting a water slide and a hot-tub area, is not far from where crack houses once thrived. The 28,000-square-foot multi-purpose swimming-pool facility anchors the six-acre central park at the heart of the Regent Park revitalization. It is the first swimming facility in Canada with “universal” rather than male and female change rooms; instead, there are common change areas with private change cubicles. This offers the politically correct benefit of making transgendered folk feel welcome (Toronto’s Gay Village is just blocks away). Universal change rooms also enhance openness and visibility because their walls can be transparent rather than opaque. In a gesture of accommodation to another minority group, moveable screens Photos by Shai Gil
Best of Canada Fall 2013 CANADIAN INTERIORS 9
© 2013 All Rights Reserved. Global Design Center 13.0242 Shown in Ultraleather, Ermine (UL27).
allow Muslim women to swim out of range of male eyeballs. When weather suits, sliding-glass doors off the main pool hall open out to the parkside terrace. This is a see-through building from all elevations, enhanced by clean, simple and strong interior design. The long, low horizontal lines of the white Roman bricks that stack up to form the changing cubicles, and of the blue water in the pools, combine with the luminosity of the building’s airy spaces to give an atmosphere of serenity and dignity rarely found in a community athletic facility. Design team: David Miller, Viktors Jaunkalns, Ted Watson, Troy Wright, Jeanne Ng, Siri Ursin, Kyung Sun Hur, Cohen Chen and Carla Munoz
“I love the use of wood in the ceiling plane. To me it evokes the underside of a canoe or a classic wooden boat hull that appears to hover over the pool. There is something particularly Canadian about this, alluding to the Ontario landscape. The way that natural light cuts deep into the building is quite wonderful”—MT “The dramatic roof section floods the space with natural light, bringing out the warmth of the wood ceiling. The high degree of transparency also expresses the building’s accessibility and openness within a community that is undergoing a process of renewal and reinvention”—MP
10 CANADIAN INTERIORS Best of Canada Fall 2013
Photos: top by Shai Gil; bottom by Tom Arban
13.0242 CDN_INT_Bestof_G20_03FA 13-10-02 4:02 PM Page 1
© 2013 All Rights Reserved. Global Design Center 13.0242 Shown in Ultraleather, Ermine (UL27).
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Cossette V7 Advertising Agency, Toronto Teeple Architects with Luc Bouliane Architect, Toronto
The new headquarters of Cossette V7 Advertising occupies a heritage building in Toronto’s Liberty Village used as a munitions factory during the Second World War. The inside of building was stripped, exposing the dramatic steel roof structure and brick walls. An 18-foot-high internal “main street,” cutting across the large interior, serves as the central circulation spine and connects the two street addresses at each of end of the building. Along the way, a café, lounges and variously configured meeting spaces encourage informal, serendipitous meetings among the firm’s 300-plus employees. Offices flank the internal street on the ground floor. On the second floor, pods floating above the work areas and main street serve as breakout creative spaces. Stairs lead to a rooftop patio. Photos by Scott Norsworthy
Clerestory windows flood the building with natural light. In keeping with the view of advertising agencies as the elite, creative air corps of the business world, the interior balances workstation farms with bold hits of shape and colour. For instance, the massive white organic sculptural shape of the breakout pod with a ramp winding up and around its side evokes the sensuous concrete curves of Le Corbusier’s iconic 1954 Notre-Dame du Haut church in Ronchamp, France. And an immense semicircular seating banquette with screaming hot, fire-orange upholstery enlivens the mostly white surroundings. Here indeed is a workplace to attract and maintain the most qualified employees.
Design team: Stephen Teeple, Luc Bouliane, Richard Lai, Tanya Cazzin, Lang Cheng, lngmar Mak and Natasha Lebel “Another great example of adaptive reuse of Toronto’s old warehouse buildings. It’s a very dramatic use of simple materials such as gyp board to create an interior landscape. I like the hit of colour against the white palette”—MT “This office renovation takes full advantage of a former factory’s high ceilings, ample light and expressive roof structure. The new intervention allows the qualities of the original space to remain legible, while establishing a clear and dynamic identity for the new office”—MP
Best of Canada Fall 2013 CANADIAN INTERIORS 13
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Commonwealth Community Recreation Centre, Edmonton MacLennan Jaunkalns Miller Architects, Toronto, in joint venture with HIP Architects, Edmonton The Commonwealth Community Recreation Centre, a joint-use partnership between the City of Edmonton and the Edmonton Eskimos football team, combines football operations, stadium programming and a recreation centre. The facility adaptively reuses an existing, 1978 stadium fitness centre and connects the user groups through a cascading promenade stretching four storeys. The project transforms a vacant stadium ground into an urban park and community destination that is active day and night. The 220,000-square-foot LEED-Silver development includes a three-basin aquatic hall, field house, fitness centre, running track, gymnasium, community space, and new administration and operations facilities for the Eskimos. The three primary masses of field house, aquatics and gymnasium respond to the triangulated geometries of the site and frame a central lobby space. The central lobby arrays pods of community rooms, suspends aerobic studios, and is open to the fitness centre above to create an energy-filled public living room. The lobby offers views into the three main activity areas. The three diverse partnering groups share their program-specific amenities for mutual benefit and revenue. The Eskimos use the recreation centre pool, track and fitness centre for player training and to host game-related events in the gym and meeting spaces. The community enjoys joint use of the field house and, in evenings and off-season, Eskimo meeting and coaching rooms. And the stadium operator can host side-stage events in the field house and use the recreation centre and Eskimo meeting and locker rooms for hosting and staging functions for concerts and athletic events. Design team: from MJMA, Ted Watson, Viktors Jaunkalns, Aaron Letki, Andrew Filarski, John MacLennan, Lukasz Kos, Troy Wright, Kyung Sun Hur, Jason Wah, Cohen Chen, Bi-Ying Mao, James Andrachuk and Siri Ursin; from HIP Architects, Stewart Inglis, Craig Hendersen, Erwin Rauscher, Gareth Leach, Jim Dobey, Brent Conner, Christian Paroyan and Bob Murray
Photo by Tom Arban
“The back story is really interesting with its outreach from the Eskimos and integrating them into the community, and at the same time offering views of the pro team practicing. I like the building section and the way light is brought in. It floods the space without producing glare on the pool. The shape of the roof and ceiling is beautiful”—MP “This is magical: I love it. It’s spatially interesting, but not gimmicky or flamboyant. There’s a sense here of visual harmony, with a very deftly balanced colour-and-materials scheme”—AW
“The great thing about colour here is that it’s not used arbitrarily, but relating to use and how we might expect to see it, such as with the orange of the track. With all this natural light, I almost feel like I’m outdoors. I applaud the city for allowing all this wood and the maintenance issues it brings”—MT “What could potentially be a very heavy mezzanine is avoided with the perforated panels and those [support] sticks that are whimsical without being cutesy”—CF
Best of Canada Fall 2013 CANADIAN INTERIORS 15
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Dr. Mariano Elia Hands-On Centre, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto +TongTong, Toronto
What’s an art-loving family to do? In Toronto, grownups can ponder Rembrandt, Rubens and the Group of Seven while their restless little ones chill at the Dr. Mariano Elia Hands-On Centre located on the concourse level of the Art Gallery of Ontario in the Weston Family Learning Centre. There the gallery’s youngest-audience age group, two-to-five-year-olds, can enjoy “art-making, constructing, storytelling and costume play, making new friends and exploring.” The program brief called for a space that embraces the way children play and offers a diverse, wide-ranging environment, often linked to a current AGO exhibition, where kids can explore on their own. +TongTong’s John Tong softened the base-building space, characterized by big windows and a hard-edged quality. His main intervention was to create two large curving wall segments that face one another and dominate the room. Large cavities erode the cladding of these structures to reveal, within the thickness of the wall segments, a rich inner life of storage shelves; cozy, padded reading nooks; and openings with curtains and mirrors for dress-up sessions. A large circular communal table, inspired by dim sum tables in Chinese restaurants, has three turntables inset in its top that give access to supplies and tools. The table sits flush with the surface of the platform until elevated by a mechanical lift. When up, the table acts as the social hub of the room, drawing children, caregivers and parents to gather ’round for craft projects and other activities. A fringe of boldly coloured rods hanging from the ceiling act as a proscenium, giving a stage-like presence to the platform and adding texture to the space. Design team: John Tong, who began the project while still a partner at 3rd Uncle Design, before starting his eponymous firm; and 3rd Uncle’s Eunice Lam
Photos by Tom Arban
“I like that they photographed it with kids using the space”—CF “This project is different without being flamboyant”—AW
Best of Canada Fall 2013 CANADIAN INTERIORS 17
Daniel Corbin Architecture And design preverco AmbAssAdor
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Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto KPMB, Toronto
In one of the most memorable images of the Best of Canada competition, the South Atrium of the Joseph L. Rotman School of Management at U of T features a monumental serpentine stair with pink accents. Elsewhere, the colour palette is restricted to black, white and grey. The staircase, pretty in pink, shakes everything up. Commonly known as Rotman School of Management, the school has been so successful it long ago outgrew its original building (1995) by Zeidler Roberts Partnership. KPMB won an invited competition held in 2007 to design an additional building. The nine-storey expansion of 161,459 square feet doubles the size of the original facility. The new one includes a 400-seat multi-purpose lecture and event hall; the Desautels Centre for Integrative Thinking; the Lloyd and Delphine Martin Prosperity Institute; several Institutes for Excellence; tiered and flat-floor classrooms, conference and multimedia rooms; student lounges, study rooms, offices and hospitality functions rooms. The expansion integrates with the existing building and a Victorian-era residence (1888–89) as part of the school’s St. George Street elevation. In scale and massing, it responds to its urban context, mitigating between the residential scale of the Victorian house and the massiveness of the Robarts Library, the main campus library, across the street. The new building was sited to minimize shadow impact on Massey College, the masterwork of architect Ron Thom, to the east. The exterior cladding’s precast concrete panels co-ordinate with the slate roofs of the historic campus fabric. Tinted glazing in several shades of grey provides reflection, shading and transparency. Design team: Bruce Kuwabara, design partner; Marianne McKenna, partner-in-charge; Luigi LaRocca, principal-in-charge; Paulo Rocha, associate, design and project architect; Dave Smythe, associate, project architect, contract administration; Myriam Tawadros, project architect; and Laura Carwardine, Victor Garzon, Maryam Karimi, Carolyn Lee, Lilly Liaukus, Bryn Marler, John Peterson, Rachel Stecker, Danielle Sucher, Bruno Weber, Janice Wong and Richard Wong
Photo by Maris Mezulis
“Several projects were well done, but it’s the sense of unexpected delight that pushes them, like this one, into Award Land”—AW “It’s a pretty dynamic space. I think architecture should have something a little bit unexpected and give you a little surprise that makes you
stop and say, ‘Why did they do that?’ This is a happy surprise from what is a fairly sombre building, especially from the outside, where it looks quite dark and almost foreboding. So this makes it all the more interesting when you walk in”—MT
Best of Canada Fall 2013 CANADIAN INTERIORS 19
Momofuku, Toronto The Design Agency, Toronto
Of the handful of five-star hotels to open in Toronto in recent years, pride of culinary place goes to the Shangri-La’s Momofuku (Japanese for “lucky peach”). “Yes, it’s the best restaurant in Toronto,” enthused the Globe and Mail about the 6,600-square-foot triplex-eatery’s ¯ ¯ fine-dining venue, Shoto. Chinese artist Zhang Huan’s 33-foottall, 65-foot-long Rising, a stainless-steel sculpture evoking a dragon and twisting roots, frames the entrance. The building envelope – a parallelogram-shaped giant ice cube overlooking University Avenue, by Vancouver architect James K.M. Cheng, with Toronto’s Hariri Pontarini – reinforces the impression that you are about to enter somewhere special. On the ground floor, the Noodle Bar conveys the spirit of Zhang’s sculpture with its impression of movement and organized chaos. The double-height space is wrapped in textured white oak walls intersected by blackened-steel bridges and stairs. The textured oak wrap continues on the second level, where Nikai, a bar and lounge, offers a more intimate experience, with entry through sliding doors resembling shoji screens. Asian-influenced architecture mixes with mid-century-Modern Arthur Umanoff stools and custom-designed tufted-leather sofas. On the third floor, overlooking Toronto’s main processional axis, an oak-finned cube ¯ offering communal floats above Daisho, seating around a Chinese roundtable, a black-oak bar, and custom-designed tables. ¯ 21 lucky patrons can And behind Daisho, join the chef and gather round the black ¯ ¯ the black, high-gloss granite bar at Shoto, inner sanctum with an open-concept kitchen offering – we hear – the tastiest tasting menu in town. Design team: partners Allen Chan and Anwar Mekhayech; plus Lorelei Lucas and Shady Wanis “It enters into a dialogue with the Four Seasons Centre across the way. It begins to animate University [Avenue], which was in desperate need of animation. It sticks out over University Photo by Bob Gundu
and has an incredible view. They had a great shell to work with”—MT “Yes, they had a great shell to work with, and they didn’t muck it up, they took advantage of it. I like how the embedded light within the slotted wail-and-ceiling treatment comes through. There are different kinds of spaces within the shell. If you want to feel more enclosed, there are cave spaces”—AW
“There’s enough control of the space that you are totally on display, but also sheltered. Thanks to the restaurant’s transparency, pedestrians across the street can share in the experience”—MP
Best of Canada Fall 2013 CANADIAN INTERIORS 21
+House, Mulmur, Ont. Superkül Inc. Architect, Toronto
A hypoallergenic dwelling for a highly allergic client, this 2,000-square-foot house by Superkül Inc. Architect shows that the restrictions of an environmentally sensitive materials palette need not inhibit good design. Nestled between a hill and a pond in Malmur, Ont., the house has wide, 10-foothigh sliding doors opening out to a long cedar deck with expansive views. The two bedrooms sit at opposite ends of the rectangular plan for maximum privacy and quiet, and flank the open kitchen and great room. All rooms are fitted with rift-cut white-oak millwork. Every building material and finish was tested by the client to assure that it would not trigger an allergic reaction. The house is constructed with Durisol block, an inert, cement-bonded wood-fibre product inhospitable to fungi and molds. In keeping with the goal of zero-VOCs, the interior walls are finished with a self-finishing and breathable natural-clay Photos by Shai Gil
plaster applied over the Durisol block that doesn’t require a paint finish; drywall is absent from the house. A soy-based sealer was applied to the concrete floors and counters. Window treatments are limited to PVC-free blackout roller shades and untreated silk and hemp fabric. Hospitalgrade HEPA filters were installed in the HVAC duct system. The LEED Gold–targeted project has a green roof; FSC-certified lumber throughout; heat-mirror triple glazing; a large south overhang minimizing solar gain in the summer; operable skylights and windows on all four elevations, offering passive ventilation and natural day lighting across the occupied floor area; and a pond-loop geothermal system.
“The strongest move is the wall of glass”—MP “It’s very livable”—CF “The palette, stripped down to wood, is elegant. The concrete floor is low-maintenance and blends in with the white walls; there’s some lovely daylight washing down. The long wall of windows should be applauded for its sheer simplicity. This house is stripped down and almost minimalist. It has a sense of peace. I could imagine myself in this house and really enjoying it”—MT
Design team: Superkül principals Andre D’Elia and Meg Graham; project architect Geoffrey Moote; and design advisor (and KPMB principal) Marianne McKenna
Best of Canada Fall 2013 CANADIAN INTERIORS 23
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Clear Lake Cottage, Seguin, Ont. MacLennan Jaunkalns Miller Architects, Toronto
A Toronto family of five wanted a new four-season cottage with abundant natural daylight to replace their existing, uninsulated, tin-roofed structure. However, they wanted to retain the sense of connection with the land, in Sequin, Ont., which they had come to enjoy in the 1950s dwelling. They also wanted the new house to blend with the rural character of the quiet lake community. The peaked, sloped roof atop the 2,400-square-foot residence was conceived of as a big top or circus tent, with a single central tent pole supporting a large hipped roof. Aesthetically, it would provide the desired ambiguous blend of contemporary style with a vernacular feel. Practically, the sloping roof would be Photo by Ben Rahn/A-Frame
ideal for shedding snow and rain. The program was consolidated into four zones: master suite, bedrooms, utility and den, and living space. The latter has a dramatic, continuous main public area with Algonquin limestone countertops and sinks and long, linear, unobtrusive HVAC diffuser grille that emphasizes the architecture’s long horizontal aspect. The zones were arrayed north to south according to the degree of privacy required. Then the spaces within these zones were assigned a lake or forest view and arranged to frame those views. Finally, the rectangular plan was skewed to form a trapezoid, maximizing lakefront exposures.
Design team: Ted Watson, Olga Pushkar, Lukasz Kos, Kyung Sun Hur, Jason Wah, Dan Kronby and Jay Lim
“It doesn’t look like it was just plucked out of Toronto. The shape of the ceiling and roof, and the covered entrance, are quite nice”—MP “The [interior] black piece and the folded ceiling are interesting”—MT “It’s both interesting and in the spirit of a country home. I like the sheltered space, the porch, with the translucent roof and the rock. This is great. It has surprise and delight”—AW “I like how it plays with the light”—CF
Best of Canada Fall 2013 CANADIAN INTERIORS 25
House in the Beach, Toronto Drew Mandel Architects, Toronto
A suspended zigzag staircase whose mirror-imaged halves look like they could swing together and close up like an accordion. A restricted materials palette of figured wood and figured marble that lends an open, uncluttered feeling to the narrow floor plan. A compact kitchen island on wheels. These are some of the distinctive features of the House on the Beach by Drew Mandel Architects. The existing, 2,139-square-foot century home in the Beach neighbourhood exemplified a common Toronto type: a semidetached, three-storey residence with a finished basement, front pad parking and private backyard. The client wanted to update the house and reinforce the street fabric by reinventing the exterior as well as the interior. The scope of the project included a new entry and reinvented facade that opens up the ground floor, fore and aft, to natural light. A small rear addition on the ground floor added a sunroom and a hitherto nonexistent connection to the back yard. As for reinforcing the street fabric, the bold, in-your-face scale of the new boxes wrapping the entry and the upper-storey windows paradoxically enhances the vernacular style of the neighbouring semi. Indeed, the two houses play off each other like a mutual admiration society. Pedestrians no doubt look at the living-room window’s stained-glass transom on the neighbour’s house, and the layered wood cladding on the oriel window above, with new appreciation for their delicacy and restraint. Design team: Drew Mandel, Rachel Tameirao, Jowenne Poon and Caroline Howes “You just don’t see this kind of sensitive treatment in Vancouver. Nobody there does this kind of proper renovation; they all do those post-and-beam monstrosities instead. I like the juxtaposition of contemporary materials with a simple geometric form. It makes me nostalgic for living in Toronto, and I miss brick”—AW “Nicely done!”—MP “There is a complex interrelationship and approach to materiality here”—MT
26 CANADIAN INTERIORS Best of Canada Fall 2013
Photos by Shai Gil
White Loft, Toronto Boychuk + Fuller, Toronto
When an empty-nester client of Boychuk + Fuller moved from the former family house into a 1,525-square-foot apartment at the Brewery Lofts, the reassuring psychological cues emanating from her cherished traditional pieces helped ease her transition to the unfamiliar, downsized digs. They take on added importance as focal points in each room because they provide a colour hit that plays off against the otherwise white minimalist envelope. An office space at the front of the apartment address the client’s workfrom-home needs. The custom millwork offers open storage for books and objects, and closed storage for files and documents. A honking big concrete column runs up the middle of the space. Instead of being concealed in drywall, it remains true to its raw, unprettified béton brut self, making a rough-textured foil to the Photos by Angus Fergusson
elegance of the space. The central hallway was modified to narrow near the front and gradually widen toward the main living area at the back of the loft. This intervention to the as-found space made room for additional built-in storage and a seating area outside the kitchen. The living-dining area provides sufficient space and seating for entertaining fairly large groups comfortably. Chairs and the repurposed Louis XVI console contrast against the sleek lines and white composite material of the dining table and the custom built-in low storage unit running the length of the space. The storage unit includes a full bar. The small, easy-to-clean kitchen has tiered storage and conceals appliances, for an uncluttered look.
Design team: the firm’s two (business and life) partners, Alana Boychuk and Tristan Fuller “They’re pushing it here”—MT “You can see it as irony. The eclecticism is well done. This is all about creating a white shell and using your own stuff”—MT “I like the idea of using the space as a backdrop. It’s absolutely white, which is really clever because it’s high-concept. There’s an idea here”—MP
Best of Canada Fall 2013 CANADIAN INTERIORS 27
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Prémont Harley-Davidson, Quebec City Optima Design, Montreal
Quebec City’s Prémont Harley-Davidson, at 23,000 square feet the largest dealership for the motorcycle manufacturer in Canada, occupies a spectacular shell by architects Bourgeois Lechasseur and DMG Architecture. Montreal’s Optima Design, charged with creating an interior as eye-catching as the exterior, was responsible for boutique areas for clothing, accessories and gifts; a section for motorcycle parts and accessories; a motorcycle display and sales area; and a vintage-collection exhibit on the mezzanine. Traditionally, Harley-Davidson dealerships have had a palette of raw-finished wood and steel within an industrial space. The new Quebec City interior updates these brand characteristics and conveys “masculine” in a fresh way. Black lacquer, plated metal, painted glass and chrome predominate. Matte- and mirror-finished charcoal porcelain tiles arrayed in a large monochrome tartan pattern cover the floor. Among other challenges, the 24-foothigh ceilings spurred Optima to create a suspended decorative element to install spotlights close to the merchandise display, for more efficient lighting. Ninety per cent of the projects lighting uses green LED technology. Of the numerous super graphics on the walls, some came from the Harley-Davidson image bank, others were commissioned. Also custom is the furniture, unique to this dealership. Design team: Marco Iacampo, principal; and Myriam Vignes-Salaun, senior designer “The use of wood warms the space”—CF “Here’s where you can afford the macho look. Those graphics give breathing space to the interior and all that blackness. This one is beautiful. It’s bitchin’!”—AW
Photos by Stéphane Brugger
Best of Canada Fall 2013 CANADIAN INTERIORS 29
World Kids Books, Vancouver Red Box ID, Vancouver
With online competition killing small bookstores across North America, Red Box ID did a fundamental rethink of the genre on behalf of its client, World Kids Books in Vancouver. The firm felt that mass-market bookstores tend to be dull while online stores eliminate the fun of dealing with a human being. There was a place, the designers felt, for a store promising an enhanced interactive showroom experience. A more specific challenge was that of showcasing 10,000 books in a 460-squarefoot space. The client wanted to avoid the easy solution of junking up the display with stacks of books and lengthy perimeter shelves filled to bursting. The sales floor accommodates 2,400 books at a time, with arches breaking up the potential monotony of linear shelving; the other books rotate from the stockroom every few weeks. This solution meets the client’s need for inventory and the customer’s need to experience a fresh selection. The rhythm and bold contrast of black walls and white arches, the room’s mirror-image symmetry, and the pops of colour in the seating ottomans draw in passersby. Then, there is the use of false perspective. The width of the store tapers from 19 feet at the front to 14 feet at the rear, and the arches in the colonnade shrink proportionately. Here, Red Box ID exploited a favourite trick of stage designers made famous by Borromini’s Galleria Spada in Rome, a Baroque masterpiece of optical illusion powered by diminishing rows of columns that makes the space seem five times longer. Design team: Maria Drugoveiko and Simon Spacewalker “There’s a strong idea here”—MT “A simple idea well executed. The store doesn’t talk down to the kids”—MP “Clean and simple”—AW
30 CANADIAN INTERIORS Best of Canada Fall 2013
Photo photos by Ema Peter
Pop-up Office Dubbeldam Architecture and Design, Toronto
Dubbeldam Architecture and Design made a splash earlier this year at the Interior Design Show with a 130-square-foot configuration of its Pop-up Office. Made of wood reclaimed from shipping-pallet boards and frames, this is the ultimate environmentally aware product. The material is pre-assembled into flat and curving modular units that combine to form floor, wall and ceiling planes, and furniture elements. They are joined on site to form a modern workplace with workstations and collaborative and lounge spaces. Modular shelves can be inserted into slots between wallboards to make adjustable display and storage areas. Smaller ledges slide into gaps between the wood slats. Shelves on the back wall in the lounge module can be filled with greenery to provide a fresh and calming atmosphere. Over the collaborative workspace area, ceiling boards pivot open, doing double duty by acting as louvers that direct light from the ceiling. Once the modules are assembled and the power points (outlets and light fixtures) are connected and plugged into a power source, Pop-Up Office can be up and running immediately. Wood component pieces are sanded smooth where they come into contact with the human body and left rough where they do not. Easily transported, reconfigurable and rapidly deployed, Pop-up Office is intended for short-term use in applications such as outdoor festivals or disasterrelief, and for start-ups looking for hip, modest office space. Design team: Heather Dubbeldam, Jacob JeBailey, Oliver Dang, Suzanna MacDonald, Amber Baechler and Foad Vahidi
“It’s an interesting story using reclaimed materials with little slots that connect the modules together and let you move them around”—MT
Photos by Shai Gil
Best of Canada Fall 2013 CANADIAN INTERIORS 31
Edition Richmond Presentation Centre, Toronto Cecconi Simone, Toronto
“Time present and time past/Are both perhaps present in time future,” wrote poet T.S. Elliot in Four Quartets. Those three versions of chronology make their presence felt at the Edition Richmond Presentation Centre by Cecconi Simone. The 2,744-square-foot project showcases not just Edition Richmond’s 20 urbaninfill townhomes in Trinity Bellwoods, but also the lifestyle and history of the Queen Street West neighbourhood as it was, is and will be. The sales centre occupies the auto-repair shop of the defunct Toronto Transmission and Gear Company. The garage– turned–presentation gallery was maintained in its original, raw state, but repaired and whitewashed. White floors, walls, doors, ceilings and recycled found 32 CANADIAN INTERIORS Best of Canada Fall 2013
objects lend an ethereal, metaphysical quality to the transformed space. Indeed, the room has some of the surreal, ghostly atmosphere associated with the stark, white-on-white interiors by the New York–based architecture and design firm SITE, and the white, cast life-size figures by the American sculptor George Segal. The open trunk of a whitewashed Austin America doubles as a display unit for promotional brochures. White-painted car parts appear in display vitrines and hang on the walls. Oversized black-and-white photographs depicting closeups of neighbourhood vignettes, printed on canvas and stretched on frames, relieve the austerity of the interior while conveying the charm and vitality of Trinity Bellwoods.
Design team: Elaine Cecconi, principal; Gail Krieger, associate; Dominic DeFreitas, senior designer; Ofelia Romero and Christopher David, intermediate designers; and Shabnam Fayyaz, CAD technician “It looks different!”—AW “This gallery-like space appeals to the urban hipster, which is perfect for Trinity Bellwoods”—MT
Photos by Joy von Tiedemann
The Massey Tower Sales Centre, Toronto Cecconi Simone, Toronto
In the middle of the 5,295-square-foot Massey Tower Sales Centre sits a display table with a scale model of the proposed condo highrise. The “in-and-out” carved silhouette of the display table’s legs follows the familiar cabriolet profile – with a twist. The inner edge of the profile pixilates like an enlargement of a too-low-resolution JPEG on a computer screen. The clever disintegrating outline epitomizes the wit and sensitivity of the old-meets-new aesthetic pervading the project. The 60-storey condo tower will soon rise behind, and connect with, Massey Hall (1894), the “Old lady of Shuter Street,” which the Toronto Symphony Orchestra once called home. The nearby Canadian Bank of Commerce (1905), the long-vacant Palladian temple across Yonge Street from Eaton Centre, will be integrated into the tower’s base. Newly installed cocoon-like pendant lights and a 12-foot-long custom reception desk in antique-bronze mirror and cold-rolled steel are contemporary, yet evocative of traditional design. The desk and other new custom furnishings and fixtures were designed with a view toward their eventual reinstallation in the finished condominium. The expansive main gallery, accessed through velvet swag drapes, is organized into functional zones without partitions. Closing areas, seating areas and the scale model are delineated with traditionally inspired custom moldings and custom furnishings, and custom, digitally generated, 17-foot-high, trompe-l’oeil wall-coverings. The model suite showcases an actual layout. Contemporary custom millwork, including side tables, headboard and media storage panels, are ornamented with applied, traditional decoration in a vocabulary that reiterates and expands upon that of the sales centre.
Photos by Ben Rahn/A-Frame
Design team: Anna Simone, principal; Jude Thomson, associate; Pauline Ayoub, team leader; Marie Girolamo, senior designer; Jeremy Schneider, Firas Yousif and Alma Bungardean, intermediate designers; and Joven Quilacio, intermediate designer and CAD technician “Here we test our biases because this project isn’t modernist and isn’t our shtick, but it’s very well done”—AW “This is really spectacular. They worked around all the old, historic features and created something new”—MP “This project has wit”—MT
Best of Canada Fall 2013 CANADIAN INTERIORS 33
Tensegrity Space Frame Light Michal Maciej Bartosik, Toronto
A tensegrity structure is a light, delicate and sculptural-looking space frame made of isolated bars or struts in compression inside a net of cables kept rigid by tension. The Tensegrity Space Frame Light by Toronto industrial designer Michal Maciej Bartosik marries lighting to structural engineering. The basis of this infinitely scalable product is a four-strut cube-shaped module with fluorescent lights as the struts. His product, he says, suggests “new possibilities for a marriage between structure and lighting,” and does so “with playful rigour….[It] captures our imagination and holds it, suspended in its luminous weave.” In embarking on the project, Bartosik set out to create a light fixture reduced to its simplest terms, “using only its light source (lamp) and electrical conduit (wire)…. Tensegrity was a structural means by which lamp and wire constitute both the light and the fixture…. It gracefully resists the pull of gravity with a simplicity that affirms the paradigm of our epoch: to achieve more whilst using less.” Bartosik asked and answered his own questions. “Could a temporary exhibition rigging for lights not be a structural wall made of light? Could a suspended ceiling for lights not be a structural canopy made of light?” He envisions sky’s-the-limit possibilities for his product. “The system’s scalability, the modularity of its parts and the economy of its production speaks to an accessible commodity of endless configuration and use, whether as a domestic light screen whose weave varies in colour temperature or an industrial canopy to wash a commercial space with uniform light.”
34 CANADIAN INTERIORS Best of Canada Fall 2013
“I’ve never seen a product like this before. This is doing some interesting things. It could as easily be read as an art installation or as a lighting sculpture. It has an ambition to be more than what it is”—MP “This is a space-frame light that can hang or be freestanding. It’s cool. I love it”—CF “It can be seen as a screen between spaces or it can hang. It’s like a spider web. Look at the beautiful diffused light coming off it”—MT “I love the sense of sculpture that the designer achieved with this seemingly very ordinary object”—AW
Photos by Alexander Earl Gray
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