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39 COSMIC EVOLUTION Montréal’s former Dow Planetarium is transformed into a futuristic tech incubator to spark innovation. By Diane Chan
SEVEN STOREYS OF LEARNING Canada’s largest (and Hamilton’s first) zero carbon institutional building serves as a living lab for students and professionals alike on energy harvesting and conservation technologies. By Rhys Phillips
48 THIS IS US Dialog’s new Royal Alberta Museum showcases the unique synergy between humans and nature. By Leslie C. Smith
14 CAUGHT OUR EYE. 25 SEEN Highlights and insights from the Interior Design Show in Toronto; Maison + Objet in Paris; and Domotex in Hannover. 34 THE GOODS
From carbon-neutral programs to resilient materials, biophilic designs and antimicrobial finishes, this year’s flooring products take a stylish and sustainable step in a new direction. 52 SCENE 56 OVER & OUT Canada’s hotshot luxury menswear designer extends his fashion style to interior decor. COVER – Closed since 2011, the Dow Planetarium in Montréal has re-opened as one of the largest tech company accelerators in Canada. Photo by Stéphane Brügger
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2019 Salone del Mobile.Milano Brace yourselves! iSalone is coming… Informa Toronto A new fit-up by Dubbeldam Architecture + Design comfortably accommodates a growing team of 110 employees in a 16,000-sq.-ft. floorplate.
FIS Holdings Building Arts Architects uses natural materials to design an office environment which does not feel like an office.
DoveVivo Architects Enrico and Sara Cleva use products from Vancouver-based molo to create dedicated relaxation and brainstorming room in the new Milanese headquarters of DoveVivo.
W Montreal – Suites Extreme Sid Lee Architecture pushes boundaries to inspire the passions and communicate the social and cocktail culture vibe generated by the hotel’s spirit.
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That was the name of a panel I had the privilege of organizing and moderating during the Interior Design Show in Toronto this past January, where we began an exploration of “truth and narrative” in architectural film and photography. I was joined by four people whose opinions on this topic I take seriously: two professional architectural photographers (Amanda Large, co-founder of Doublespace Photography; and Arnaud Marthouret, founder of Revelateur Studio); an architect and avid photographer himself (Babak Eslahjou, principal at Core Architects); and founder and director of a film festival focusing on architecture (Kyle Bergman of the New York-based Architecture & Design Film Festival).
As renderings became more photorealistic and photographs became more like renderings, photo-editing software is expanding not only what is possible but also what is acceptable. A badly-finished soffit; unfortunately placed street lights or utility lines; unwanted air vents or electrical sockets can all be discreetly edited out by a few keystrokes on a desktop, as if they never existed. Is this protecting a vision, or misrepresenting reality? Is the photographer’s job, like any artist, to interpret architecture, or just record it? Are they a marketer or documentarian? I intend to explore this topic further, and welcome your thoughts on the issue. For example, do you believe there is a line that separates a “truthful” representation of a building and an “idealized” one? Should there be? Should that “line” be policed or does it even matter if the image is doctored? Let’s examine these ideas together, because in an age when everyone is bombarded by visual content employing the “wow” factor to grab our attention, the line between editing something and fundamentally changing what it truly is has become unclear.
Oops… There was confusion in the Nov.-Dec. 2018 issue regarding Ubisoft Montréal:
I believe editing in its purest form is meant to improve a piece, whether a piece of writing or a piece of visual art. But at what point does modification become manipulation? While this is rarely an issue in most art mediums, since photographs are the primary way we interact with architecture, it appears photography is held to a different standard.
Sandra Schmitke and Mélanie Bélisle co-led the project while part of Ubisoft Montréal’s Design Department, together with Montréal-based Smith Vigeant architectes as co-designers (Smith Vigeant were also lead architects for the project and the passarella).
12 Peter Sobchak
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caught our eye DesignTO Edition Horizon: Sylvia Lee + Jeff Goodman Studio @ Loop Gallery Installations like this are usually ensconced in private luxury residences, but Sylvia Lee created one specifically for DesignTO. “With Horizon, I imagined looking through the keyhole of a door, and seeing the horizon at sunset,” says Lee, executive and creative director of Jeff Goodman Studio. “I wanted to translate the intensity of colour in that micro experience into a macro expression.” www.jeffgoodmanstudio.com
By Leslie Jen
This past January, DesignTO unveiled its new brand to the public over the course of a 10-day festival, which transformed the city of Toronto into a thriving network of art and design. Celebrating its ninth year, the former Toronto Design Offsite Festival encouraged participants and visitors to shake off the winter doldrums with a staggering number of highly engaging exhibitions and events in venues and neighbourhoods across the city, from the Junction in the west to Leslieville in the east, and from St. Clair in the north down to Harbourfront. Established in 2011, the Festival’s modest beginnings have expanded considerably in both scope and ambition; at 20 times its original size, there are now over 100 events and exhibitions on offer. At 150,000, this year marks the largest Festival attendance yet. Its new name, according to DesignTO’s artistic director Deborah Wang, “reflects what we’ve become: an organization that realizes its mandate through an annual design festival, but also fosters community through its programs and advocacy year-round.”
CANADIAN INTERIORS 3/4 2019
In becoming increasingly influential in its ability to advance the culture of design in Canada, DesignTO aims in particular to nurture emerging talent, showcasing the work and ideas of less established
Highwire Examined: Anony @ Dreschel This window installation in the King East Design District aimed to explore how our connection to a single element affects our perception of it as a whole.
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#WeThink2019: CD&I Associates @ Design Exchange This interactive exhibit inspired by UNESCOâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 17 Sustainable Development Goals uses a mix of low-tech paper cartoons and high-tech augmented reality on your phone to explore the positive and negative effects of how countries are run and natural resources managed. Feedback from this exhibit will inform a much larger exhibit CD&I is planning for the next edition of the EDIT Festival.
Chong Wu (Ligno and Lux)
designers even though both newer and longstanding practices are featured. The Festival also provides an important means by which to cultivate the interface between design and art, encouraging a more fluid process and the freedom to pursue more conceptually and ideologically based work than would be possible in a typical commercially focused trade show. It is a welcome opportunity for these practitioners to experiment, dream and play in a manner that allows greater freedom of expression while also encouraging the development and evolution of their design methodologies.
A Moment in Time: Unison @ Founded by Garcia The brainchild of interior design studio Unison and occupying capacious front showroom space, this interactive lit sculpture of dangling black cords arranged in curved panels explores the movement of humans through space.
CANADIAN INTERIORS 3/4 2019
As the Festival has grown, one of its chief strengths is the multidisciplinary and collaborative nature of the organization as well as of the work shown. DesignTO brings together art and the various design disciplines of architecture, landscape, interiors, graphics, furniture and product, and it has spawned countless significant collaborative partnerships within a creative, diverse network of individuals and organizations from the fields of culture, academia, media, govern-
caught our eye
Slowmaking: Jan Kath Surrounded by an array of rugs and carpets in the Jan Kath showroom, an interactive display and demonstration invited visitors to experience the ancient Tibetan craft of weaving hand-knotted carpets, revealing the people, the materials and the tools involved in this painstaking and laborious process.
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caught our eye Black Arts: Nicholas Hamilton Holmes @ Smash Salvage This new collection by the Toronto-based furniture designer includes a ‘tubular’ design language of wood bent, shaped and turned into various forms such as a lounge chair, tables, bookends and a coat rack and then dyed a monotone colour palette intended to highlight both structural forms as well as Holmes’s control over the material medium.
Surface Tension @ Artport Gallery, Harbourfront Centre This group exhibition by a dozen local and international designers and artists explored the forces at work on water, and its many dualities, using film and video, sculpture, installation, functional objects, and photography.
100 Percent Chair: Radical Norms @ gravitypope Coming out of a speculative design research studio, this project investigated new types of chair taxonomies designed for the “eyes” of an artificial intelligence system, seeking to learn how it understands the human world through artifacts and objects.
ment and the private sector. Its increasing prominence has attracted as key collaborators a number of previously independent design-focused entities such as the King East Design District, Come Up To My Room (CUTMR), and Visual Arts at Harbourfront Centre. And so, during the 10-day period, visitors were treated to KEDD Night, an evening of convivial receptions simultaneously held along a six-block stretch of King Street East at eight participating venues showcasing an impressive range of DesignTO installations. An eagerly anticipated annual event, CUTMR at the Gladstone Hotel featured site-specific immersive installations by artists and designers over four days. And the winter exhibition at Harbourfront’s main gallery was given over to a DesignTO-curated group show called Surface Tension, which explored the theme of water through film, video, sculpture, installation, functional objects and photography. In addition to design-centric bus tours and the opportunity for social engagement and networking at the parties and receptions, Festival-
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caught our eye
specific programming included a variety of rigorously curated group exhibitions, independent and smaller-scale installations, and storefront window displays. The notion of work and its impact on life and well-being has been a primary focus of the Festival for some time: in partnership with DesignTO, Umbra hosted Work/Life, an annual juried exhibition which recognizes best-in-show with an award and cash prize. In complement, the 2019 Festival symposium, entitled Unlocking the Future of Work, featured 10 industry experts leading a discussion on issues as far-ranging as meaningful work, inclusion and diversity, work space, economic systems, and ethics. International keynote speakers have proven to be a major draw, and this year was no exception with a sold-out presentation by Studio Swine, known for their multi-sensorial immersive installations. Formerly based in London and more recently New York, the husband-and-wife team and Royal College of Art graduates enthralled the audience with the compelling results of their inten-
CANADIAN INTERIORS 3/4 2019
Aestus Vases: Oliver David Krieg @ Frances Watson A series of stratified wooden vases designed and manufactured to explore a new synthesis of traditional materials and modern technology. Carved from solid beech plywood by an industrial robot, the vases capture the fluidity of the machine’s movements in the depth of the wooden texture.s
Urban Fabric Rugs: Andrei Zerebecky @ bulthaup Toronto Urban Fabric is a side project of Shanghai-based Canadian architect Andrei Zerebecky, and two of the company’s luxurious handmade virgin wool rugs enlivened the bulthaup showroom during the Festival. A study in monochromatic grey shades, Timezones depicts a map of the world’s time zones, while Barcelona features a map of the city’s central neighbourhoods in deep orange. The fibres of the dense pile are meticulously hand-carved to create a three-dimensional plush city model.
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caught our eye
Light Cage Duo: Luvere Studio @ bulthaup Toronto From the confines of a “prison of light” – in this case of a four-foot by four-foot structure of illuminated bars suspended from the ceiling – plants continue to grow and will eventually engulf and obscure their cage, thereby representing a gesture of hope for our planet’s environment. www.luverestudio.com
CANADIAN INTERIORS 3/4 2019
sively research-based design practice that sees them routinely travel to the far-flung corners of the earth to investigate and incorporate local materials and traditions into their work. Polytope: David Lister and Daniel Gruetter @ Pilot Coffee Roaster A collaboration between an architecturally trained designer and fabricator (Lister) and furniture designer and woodworker (Gruetter), the pendant lights synthesize the material properties of brass alloy with the algorithmically assisted generation of tessellated forms and 3-axis CNC fabrication.
Nearly a decade into its existence, the Festival has evolved into an umbrella organization for a number of design organizations, demonstrating that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Its catalytic effect on design culture has attracted the support of funders, sponsors and partners in creating a robust community of practitioners and advocates. As DesignTO nears its 10th anniversary, the team hopes to capitalize on this positive momentum, continuing to foster the development, evolution and success of independent design.
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Arms Wide Open Headlining Questlove on one end and absorbing what used to be IIDEX Canada on the other, the Interior Design Show seemed intent on casting a wide net to draw in audiences of trade construction, design professionals and affluent consumers who fancy themselves design aficionados.
By Peter Sobchak
1 MoonLight | Partisans The Toronto-based firm partnered with 3D-printed lighting platform Decimal to create MoonLight (.015). According to Partisans, the design came out of an exploration of “the formal process of employing bubbles to create voids within a traditional spherical pendant light.” The result is a laser sinstered polyamide orb measuring 12 inches in diameter. www.partisans.com / www.decimalmade.com
2 Vanity Chair | Vako Design Iowa City resident Vako Darjania showed part of his Narcissus collection, in a booth shared with Justin Bailey Design, who does lighting. Drawing inspiration from the Art Deco and Memphis Modern eras of design, his Vanity Chair’s asymmetric layering of surfaces and volumes complements vibrant, lush tones of velvet and wood. www.vakodesign.com 3 Bloom Collection | Hollis+Morris Even if they didn’t have premier placement in front of the stage, Hollis+Morris would have stood out with their new Bloom Collection, which introduces frosted glass spheres to their design repertoire. The solid wood and glass Willow pedant is one strong example, where “circular leaf buds are nestled into the wooden branch creating a soft glow gently highlighting the wood grain.” www.hollismorris.com
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1 MasterCool II | Miele Debuting at IDS is the newest generation in Miele’s refrigeration series. The WiFi-enabled MasterCool design now includes: a metallic look to the rear panel of the interior cabinet and the inner door face; a lighting concept of narrow LED light strips, which flood the cabinet with light; and Push2Open/Pull2Open selections continue the handleless trend in kitchens.
2 Haven | Tangible Dominating the floor of IDS Contract (née IIDEX Canada), these inflatable pop-up environments were meant to be entered for moments of quiet respite, something most people learned the hard way by mistakenly sitting on them first. Still, the Vancouver-based studio behind them succeeded in bringing some much-needed whimsy to a fair looking for solid footing.
3 Loft Series | Cosentino Adding to their natural quartz line, this new range of colours is inspired by the aged, industrial character of concrete. The first two shades of the series are Brooklyn and Silver Lake: the former identified by an intense grey finish and random contrasts; the latter colour set on a pure white background and superimposed with soft gradations of grey. www.cosentino.com 4 Bathroom Collections | LIXIL Canada To employ a simple “show everything” strategy but avoid having it feel like a warehouse, LIXIL Canada tapped several Canadian designers (Halifax-based Jonathan Legate, and west coast design studios Angela Robinson Design, Kendall Ansell Interiors, AK Design Vancouver & Madeleine Design Group) to create bathroom vignettes incorporating collections from American Standard, DXV, and Grohe into 100-sq.-ft. conceptual spaces, such as the Studio S (shown). www.americanstandard.ca
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5 Empira White | Caesarstone The quartz surface company certainly brought their A-game with an eye-catching show floor installation by Dutch “eating designer” Marije Vogelzang. But many may not have noticed that Caesarstone also launched its first new colour for 2019 at IDS: Empira White, a classic base meant to represent nature, while also fitting in smoothly with twotone kitchen designs. www.caesarstone.ca
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With so many facets of the spot, Maison + Objet often creatives buzzing around and sampling their products By Peter Sobchak
Space Oddity | Non Sans Raison Plates are a big thing at Maison + Objet. Not just to eat on, but to decorate walls with. Non Sans Raison, in collaboration with French artist PierreCharles Jacquemin, have used the plate medium to graphically chart the exploration of space with their newest collection, where each plate embodies a space mission (with equal U.S. and Soviet representation).
Puro Eclectic | Brokis The Czech lighting brand came to Paris to debut several collections including this dynamic suspended pendant, designed by Brokis art director Lucie Koldova and made of hand-blown glass Puro (Spanish for “cigar”) tubes intended to enliven dining tables through an interplay between horizontal and vertical luminous cigar tubes levitating in space above simple bell lights. www.brokis.cz
Imperfectio | Boca do Lobo This Portuguese label has a knack for grabbing your attention. If you’re looking for subtly, look elsewhere. But there is a time and a place for the absurd, and when you find yourself there and in need of a good sit, the Imperfectio sofa or armchair will happily oblige. www.bocadolobo.com
CANADIAN INTERIORS 3/4 2019
design industry in one feels like a beehive, with everywhere showing like honey.
Overtures | Marc Loustalot From a distance, the table looks like a clean assemblage of glacier white Corian and solid oak legs. Closer inspection reveals seemingly random holes drilled into the surface, disturbing the traditional ordering of a table and its contract with users. When it is finally explained that the holes accommodate glassware, the cheeky brilliance of Loustalotâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s creation is unmistakable. www.marcloustalot-creations.fr
Aluminum textile | molo The Vancouver outfitâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sweeping landscape of sculpted paper walls got a serious upgrade at the Paris show. Their softwall + softblock lines are now micro-coated in aluminum, casting a fascinating interplay of light, colour and shadow as light refracts off the pleated surfaces. Up close, the intricate pattern of textile fibres is made more visible by the thinness of the coating. www.molodesign.com
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Soul | Pedrali An Italian furniture company enlisted a Catalan designer (Eugeni Quitllet) for a collection that caught German eyes (Special Mention of the German Design Award 2019 in the Excellent Product Design Furniture category). This chair is impressive: a flowing ash structure is joined together by an almost invisible polycarbonate seat, making both materials seem connected yet independent. www.pedrali.it
Dédé | Alessi Padding the furnishing accessories catalogue, Philippe Starck has reinterpreted a cult object he designed back in the 1990s. His “solitary and plump” anthropomorphic doorstops now come in thermoplastic resin and matte colours with a new finish. www.alessi.com
Moire Collection | Atelier George The output of radiant glass objects from this team of artisans is remarkable, such as their newest collection, named after the moiré patterns of fabrics like tulle, explores optical and transparency effects and is obtained by overlaying two similar printed or woven patterns. The collection itself ranges from light fittings and fine tableware to wall tiles, all of which are handmade using hot glass techniques. www.atelier-george.fr
Swirl | Tom Dixon At Maison & Objet this year, Tom Dixon launched this mysterious new material that resembles 3D marbled paper yet has the weight of stone. The process involves recycling powdered residue from the marble industry, mixed with pigment and resin to create blocks of material that can then be sawn, sliced and turned on a lathe. www.tomdixon.net
CANADIAN INTERIORS 3/4 2019
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1 Century Art | Makalu Design/Paulig Part of Century Art, Makalu’s special collection for unusual patterns, this hand-knotted Nepalese rug made with Tibetan and New Zealand wool and silk delivers bold colours to create a spectacular visual effect. www.makalu.de 2 Zagros Songlines | Zollanvari International Inspired by traditional tapestry-woven Persian Mazandaran kilims, this rug made from Zagros Mountain wool combines a feel of traditional local paintings with an infusion of colour to create a striking contemporary design. www.zollanvari.com
Hannover can cut a rug By Martin Spreer
10 10 R.001_Jeannine | iCarpet Designed in Berlin by Jeannine van Erk, this artisan rug — available in vegetable bamboo silk, pure wool, or a blend of silk and wool — is able to capture the intricate patterns and delicate lines of the human eye with incredible depth. www.i-carpet.com
CANADIAN INTERIORS 3/4 2019
The most interesting items typically seen at Domotex in Hannover are chic handmade carpets and rugs in today’s vivid patterns. While a number of major industry players were notably absent in the 2019 edition, this batch shows Hannover can still deliver the goods. 9
3 Portinfer Rug | Claire Gaudion Inspired by the natural island rhythms of Guernsey, in the English Channel, this hand-knotted rug was made in India with 100 per cent New Zealand wool in a loop pile technique to accentuate the colour and pattern details. www.clairegaudion.com 4 Century Art | Makalu Design/ Paulig Part of Century Art, Makaluâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s special collection for unusual patterns, this hand-knotted Nepalese rug made with Tibetan and New Zealand wool and silk delivers bold colours to create a spectacular visual effect. www.makalu.de
5 Super Reloaded No. 02 | Rugstar With a name like Super Reloaded, this Tibetan wool and silk rug is not shy about its audacious modern design using strict geometrical pattern in warm pastel colours like green, blue and rosĂŠ silk, surrounded by a deep racing green. www.rugstar.com 6 Streaks | Louis de Poortere Ripples and streaks formed by winter gales in the New Jersey and Long Island sand were the apparent design inspiration for this rug, woven on jacquard looms with cotton chenille yarns. www.louisdepoorterestore.com 7 Impressions Collection | Art Resources The trend of paint-like aesthetics continues with this hand-knotted Indian wool and silk mix rug which aims to create esoteric and floating floor art. www.weaverart.com
8 Bijar | Edelgrund The mountainous region of Bijar, with a mixed culture of Kurds and Turks who need thick fabric to keep warm during cold winter days, was the inspiration for this rug handmade from natural wool and hand-spun yarn coloured with local vegetable dye. www.edelgrund.com 9 Magia in Fog | Galleria Battilossi Designed in the coarse Berber aesthetic, with unevenly incorporated asymmetric lines to accentuate the minimal design, this unique wool rug from Punjab delivers warmth with style. www.battilossi.it
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Brintons | Materialize Brintons newest line under the Stacy Garcia Axminster Collection, Materialize mirrors the visual patterns that are revealed when a magnifying glass is taken to different material surfaces, such as wood, wool, paper and paint. Complete with bold colours, stylized medallions, floral accents and trompe l’oeil compositions, the woven carpet collection is full of texture and tact. www.brintons.net
From carbon-neutral programs to resilient materials, biophilic designs and antimicrobial finishes, this year’s flooring products take a stylish and sustainable step in a new direction. By Shannon Moore
Patcraft | Creative Code Available in 15 refined colourways in both neutral and bright tones, this new vinyl tile collection is easily customizable to fit any commercial interior. Both scratch and stain resistant, the highdurability, 12” x 24” tiles can be mixed, matched and colour-blocked for branding and wayfinding purposes, or to meet specific design goals. www.patcraft.com CANADIAN INTERIORS 3/4 2019
Antolini | ALLIGHT Collection By leveraging a careful and meticulous manufacturing process that cuts natural stone extremely thin, the flooring is rendered virtually translucent; augmented even further by placing spotlights underneath the slabs to create a diaphanous, glowing effect. The result is an entirely unique flooring experience that celebrates the complexity, irregularity and beauty of natural stone. www.antolini.com
Shaw Contract | Forum With its subtle tones and rich calligraphic lines, the Forum collection is at once bold, geometric and unique. The 17 broadloom and 10 carpet tile patterns allude to sisal, jute and natural handwoven products, whereas four rugs add shape and form to the mix. Together, the collection offers a contemporary and clean, yet tactile and tangible feel. www.shawcontract.com
TORLYS | EverWood and EverTile Ideal for damp basements, messy kitchens and wet bathrooms, the hypoallergenic and dent, water, and stain impervious flooring is manufactured using low-gloss, realistic wood and tile textures, providing a pleasing appearance without the need for meticulous care. Beneath the surface, the extra-thick flooring contains a special cork underlay for noticeable warmth and noise control. www.torlys.com
Illulian | Sottosopra 2 Reminiscent of 3D sidewalk drawings produced by talented street artists, Illulian’s new Sottosopra 2 rugs by Italian architect and designer Fabio Novembre bring optical illusion to the living room floor. Knotted and carded by hand using high-quality wool and silk, the rugs play with perspective to establish quirky conversation pieces that double as comfortable flooring decor. www.illulian.com
Tarkett | Scale Study Series Designer Suzanne Tick’s newest line finds its inspiration in the openness and fluid movement of Zaha Hadid, Luis Barragan and Frank Gehry’s architectural façades. Featuring large-scale graphics, solid textures and angular accents, the soft surfaces are ideal for both public and private realms. The line also contains a special Luxury Vinyl Tile hard surface option manufactured using digital printed technology. www.tarkett.com
3/4 2019 CANADIAN INTERIORS
Interface | Second Story Interface’s Second Story collection quietly adds texture and dimension to a space without overwhelming the eye. Four patterns in eight colour groupings complement one another through common tones and subtle changes in scale and contrast. Like all Interface products, Second Story is part of the company’s carbon-neutral flooring program, which zeroes out the carbon emissions associated with the life cycle of its products. www.interface.com
Mohawk Group | Pivot Point The multiple award-winning, carbon-neutral tile comes in wood, textile, terrazzo and natural stone styles, as well as various colour and size options. When combined with a sleek urethane finish, the biophilicinspired tiles are at once resilient and attractive. www.mohawkgroup.com
nanimarquina | Outdoor Rugs The brand’s first-ever outdoor rug collection, the rugs are water and weather immune and combine different thickness and fibre blends to achieve a range of textures and styles. In addition to adapting their most successful collections for the line, nanimarquina has introduced a new style: Oaxaca, a simple checkerboard pattern combined with brightly coloured flowers and fruit for a traditional-meets-contemporary design. www.nanimarquina.com
nora | noraplan environcare The German flooring manufacturer has relaunched this line with 48 new shades in a modern colour palette. The chemicalfree, fire-retardant rubber flooring allows for impressive acoustic properties, improved indoor air quality, slip resistance and noticeable comfort underfoot. Defined by nora’s signature granule finish, all shades in the line are suited for high-traffic areas, including healthcare, education and office spaces. www.nora.com
CANADIAN INTERIORS 3/4 2019
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Cosmic Evolution Montréal’s former Dow Planetarium is transformed into a futuristic tech incubator to spark innovation.
Several moons ago (52 to be precise), the world descended onto Montréal for the 1967 International and Universal Exposition, or, as it is more commonly known, Expo ‘67. Held in the year of the Canadian Centennial, this monumental event under the theme Man and His World hosted 62 nations and set a record for the highest single-day attendance of any 20th century global fair with 569,500 visitors on its third day. A few years prior, the head of Dow Breweries’ board of directors — a former chemistry professor and founding Dean of the Faculty of Science at the University of Ottawa, plus avid amateur astronomer — convinced the beer producer (later absorbed by Molson) to create a world-class planetarium as part of the celebrations. Architectural firm David-Barott-Boulva — which also helped execute Habitat ‘67, Moshe
By Diane Chan Photography by Stéphane Brügger
Above Closed in 2011 after 45 years of existence and transferred to the École de technologie supérieure (ÉTS) by the City of Montréal, the conversion project by Menkès Shooner Dagenais LeTourneux Architectes aimed to rehabilitate this iconic building located at 1000 St. Jacques in Griffintown, in the heart of the Quartier de l’Innovation. 3/4 2019 CANADIAN INTERIORS
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This spread Honouring and preserving the memory of the place, it was decided to develop the project around the concepts of revolution, axis, and the circular shape. In the center of the building is an open circular space, accessible on all sides and controlling the entire spatial organization of the building. Considered a “crucible of innovation” it is designed to be the heart of the accelerator and is intended for unplanned encounters and opportunities.
Safdie’s LEGO-like housing complex for the exposition — was selected for the project and the chosen astronomical-themed design featured a Saturn-like structure complete with dome and surrounding rings. Constructed at Chaboillez Square, a former parking lot near the Old Port, Dow Planetarium was completed in time for Canada’s 100th anniversary at a cost of $1.2 million and saw approximately six million spectators attend over 250 productions until its final show in 2011. The building’s seemingly low-key digs — a neighbourhood now called Griffintown, named after Mary Griffin who initiated the area’s street planning in 1804; her husband, a soap manufacturer owner, went on to become the Bank of Montréal’s first clerk — is currently the fastest evolving area in the city. Decorated by commissioned graffiti murals and filled with shuttered factories and warehouses turned modern art galleries, hip global eateries, and swank condo developments, Griffintown has become a buzzing hub of culture and creativity thanks to a decade-long master plan to revitalize the area through new businesses, parks, playgrounds, and bicycle paths.
As part of the plan’s first priority to “preserve and enhance buildings of heritage value,” the abandoned planetarium located in the neighbourhood’s Quartier de l’Innovation was passed onto Centech: the not-for-profit technological entrepreneurship centre founded by Université du Québec engineering school École de Technologie Supérieure (ÉTS). Following the handover, local firm Menkès Shooner Dagenais LeTourneux Architectes (MSDL) was enlisted to transform the iconic 2,000-sq.-m. structure into an incubator for start-ups. 3/4 2019 CANADIAN INTERIORS
This page A coaxial circulation path leads to the café, meeting space and “ideation” room that wrap around the core circular space. Attached to this rotational movement along the main axis of the building, spaces intended for businesses run by high-level technological entrepreneurs continue this design device of concentric circles.
Led by architects Anik Shooner (lead partner) and Jean-Pierre LeTourneux (lead designer), the adaptive-reuse project aimed to leave the original architecture intact while introducing a co-working space that would encourage chance encounters between young entrepreneurs, the kind that often hatch innovative opportunities. Shooner and LeTourneux also faced the challenge of bringing light into a building that was intended to be obscure and opaque for previous functions such as simulation of a night sky, all the while preserving this heritage. Thus, as a starting point, the team took cues from the perpetual movements of the universe as well as navigational instruments such as the astrolabe: an intricate round brass device historically used by astronomers to identify constellations. of red atop soft charcoal flooring serves as a casual meeting or work area. Throughout the building, polished concrete slabs with built-in ventilation and electromechanical components that free-up existing caisson ceilings allow for full-height glass walls, while acoustic panels and foam integrated into various volumes further the clean aesthetic.
At the planetarium’s centre, beneath its original dome, MSDL constructed an open glass cylinder accessible from all sides to act as the main cogwheel in a configuration similar to that of a watch, making the surrounding spaces feel as though they were constantly moving around a control centre within the building’s winged layout. A concentric path wrapping this central area leads to glass-walled meeting rooms, a café, and an ‘ideation’ room. Oversized glass panels forming curved walls acting as partitions and guardrails juxtapose vertical wood slats that feature concentric circles, a nod to the overarching concept of mechanical rotation and spinning. Massive wedges cutting into either side of the central volume accommodate two tapered wooden staircases composed of curved laminated timber that lead to an upper viewing deck. On this level, a lounge dotted with semi-private seating and pods in vibrant shades CANADIAN INTERIORS 3/4 2019
Overall, the revamped interior is contemporary and minimal, consisting primarily of solid black or white walls, ceilings, furniture, and fixtures; interjected with exposed concrete pillars and posts to reveal the existing construction and lend an industrial feel that reflects Griffintown’s edgy style, a dramatic contrast to the planetarium’s warm and classical façade. Directly beneath the dome, however, a stark white marble slab overhead speaks to the building’s updated design while offering nostalgia and a hint of poetry: it provides a projection screen on which budding businesses can observe the cosmic movements of the sky and, perhaps one day, be inspired to reach for the stars.
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Canadaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s largest (and Hamiltonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first) zero carbon institutional building serves as a living lab for students and professionals alike on energy harvesting and conservation technologies and techniques.
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OF LEARNING An increasing disconnect shadows public debate. While almost every climate scientist and a goodly percentage of the population believe human-generated climate change is an imminent threat, populist governments led by sceptics and deniers seem on the ascendency. Fortunately, educational institutions like Hamilton’s Mohawk College seem committed to intensifying our applied knowledge of climate change and its impact. Its new Joyce Centre for Partnership and Innovation contains the Centre for Climate Change Management. In addition, to use a time honoured cliché, the Centre walks the talk earning Canada’s first institutional Zero Carbon Building (ZCB) certification from the Canada Green Building Council. The council defines ZCB as a “building that produces on-site, or procures, carbonfree renewable energy in an amount sufficient to offset the annual carbon emissions associated with building operations.”
By Rhys Phillips Photography by Ema Peter
Designed by B+H Architects in partnership with mcCallumSather, the 96,000-sq. ft. Joyce Centre employs multiple techniques to achieve the zero carbon standard. These include, among others, a high performance envelop, solar photovoltaic panel arrays on the building’s dual, visually defining rooftop wing-blades; 28 geothermal wells reaching depths of 180 metres; a heat pump system; and a planted green roof. But being green is about more than envelopes and energy systems
This spread Classrooms and laboratories are organized around a large central atrium which acts as a social activator and hub. The interior material palette is balanced between robust steel and concrete, and warmer materials such as wood and stone tile, to create a rich and inviting learning environment. All materials were locally sourced. 3/4 2019 CANADIAN INTERIORS
Its interior design goes a long way to ensuring zero carbon success with attributes like digital motion and daylight sensors controlling the building’s LED lighting. But, as Lisa Bate, Global Sustainability Lead and principal at B+H Architects and Chair of the World Green Building Council (GBC) says, the design also includes elements to ensure the “building performs as an educator.” Indeed, one requirement for certification is regular reporting on Energy Use Intensity (EUI), which gauges in part how individuals are using the building in ways that minimize energy consumption. This means “a cultural shift in thinking for Mohawk College, its staff and students, from free access energy to individual accountability.” On-site outlets for recharging laptops, for example, are limited to force students to manage electrical usage because, as Bate says, “plug loads are the new evil.”
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Perhaps most importantly, there is open access to all mechanical areas of the building populated with multiple real-time gauges to permit students to monitor and engage the zero carbon technology. Fourth year students even act as central participants in the building’s management structure. Ceilings are largely open to visually reveal electrical and mechanical structuring. “Students will get hands-on learning in how to operate, monitor and maintain a zero carbon building,” reports the College.
This spread Driven by sunlight, flexible co-working spaces, labs and lecture theatres are centred around a light-filled atrium. The atrium functions as a social space that encourages formal and informal gatherings. The building is equipped with state-of-the-art labs, workshops, lecture theatres, and industry training centres. Hybrid classrooms create flexible environments that facilitate group learning and the collaborative exploration of ideas.
But the Centre also merges these and other green gestures with spatial design to create a collaborative, student-friendly educational facility. Its first level has two major lecture theatres and a café bracketing a doubleheight gallery. Façades of fritted, R30 triple-glazing on two sides of the building, along with a massive light well, spill light not only into this grand public piazza, but also into hallways, classrooms and a second level student commons. Taking a lesson from evidence-based health facility design, this generous glazing provides multiple views to the exterior landscape which stimulates and supports the learning environment. Despite flashes of very bright colours signaling breakout rooms or to animate labs, “the Centre has a simplified elegance with refined, natural materials selected with an emphasis on their sustainability performance as well as how and where they are manufactured,” says Dora Lomax, principal at mcCallumSather. Local sourcing is important, with the theatre’s structural steel supplied by Hamilton’s Walters Inc. Although the Centre’s Forbo marmoleum flooring was manufactured in the Netherlands, it is a natural, CO2-neutral product made from 43 per cent recycled linseed oil, pine rosin, wood flour, limestone, pigments, and jute. A rich natural limestone is used on the floors for major public areas. Riffcut white oak panelling (all wood is FSC certified) creates dy-
namically undulating acoustic ceilings animated with LED lighting bars that arc over the gallery, hallways and theatres. B+H, championed by Bate, played a central role in promoting supplier buy-in and training on Origin in 2016, a free, cloud-based green materials database now part of GBC’s Arc platform. The architects, therefore, were able use Origin to rate the environmental impact of over 85,000 products worldwide. Such tracking forms a core part of determining the building’s performance, as embedded emission measurements using life-cycle assessment (LCA) software is another reporting requirement of zero carbon certification. Beyond its green credentials, the Joyce Centre feels akin to current hightech office/lab design, both in its casual, transparent and light-infused interior connected by open staircases as well as the high adaptability of its spaces. Comfortable, informal spaces serve as both chill-out and work spaces. Both classrooms and labs, says Bate, are highly flexible with modular furniture and plug and play capabilities to permit different types of collaborative interaction or more classroom style core learning.
Skeptics beware; the Joyce Centre makes sustainability not painful but a catalyst for empowering, people-oriented design. 3/4 2019 CANADIAN INTERIORS
By Leslie C. Smith
Photography by Tom Arban
THiSiSUS Dialogâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s new Royal Alberta Museum showcases the unique synergy between humans and nature.
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Clockwise from left: An Albertosaurus and Mammoth casts greet visitors in the lobby with Wop May’s biplane suspended above; The Children’s Gallery is wrapped in a perforated panel with the pattern of Aspen leaves to mimic the feeling of being within a forest; Panels above the group arrivals entrance depict thawing ice in Alberta rivers and lakes in the spring; The Children’s Gallery is designed to feel like a tree fort.
Majestic, swooping, beckoning, brilliantly bright: a dozen accolades could be used to describe the new Royal Alberta Museum (RAM), which opened last October in downtown Edmonton’s Arts District. The $375.5-million, LEED Gold-certified development designed by Dialog encompasses 22,000 square metres of built environment set in an additional 8,446 square metres of meticulous landscaping, doubling the footprint of the old natural history museum it replaced. RAM is now the largest museum in western Canada, dedicated to telling the tales of human and natural history that have formed the province of Alberta. These stories come from over 5,300 displayed objects in freshly designed exhibits, and there are another 2.4 million objects waiting in the wings. This mammoth undertaking literally houses the cast of a woolly mammoth in its five-metre-high lobby, along with an Albertosaurus skeleton, and the airplane of WWI ace and bush pilot pioneer Wop May. Even more eye-catching is the impressive liquid flow of the feature staircase made from cast-in-place concrete, its subtly tinted blue river of a guardrail carving through the canyon of space up to the secondlevel natural history gallery.
The museum boasts several different exhibition galleries, open-tothe-public curatorial and research sections, a third-floor live bug room (immensely popular with children) as well as a private fourthfloor greenhouse that grows the plants for the bugs to feed on. There is also a special circle-shaped gallery wholly dedicated to the Manitou Stone (papamihaw asiniy or “flying rock” in Plains Cree), an ancient meteor sacred to the region’s indigenous peoples. All of this is in addition to vital back-of-the-house storage, office and support 3/4 2019 CANADIAN INTERIORS
Left The Museum Zone shares the important research and conservation work that RAM does. Right A sculptural stair evoking the flow of water-carved canyons through the Rocky Mountains draws the eye upward and invites the visitor to ascend toward the stories of Alberta’s natural history. Bottom right The gallery spaces are designed to be open and flexible to accommodate exhibits over the next 100 years, with strict environmental conditions in place throughout the museum to keep the objects safe.
to pioneer settlers on up to present day, humans have had to learn how to adjust to its variety of landscapes and wildlife, so there is much to see and learn about.”
areas, many of which are accessible to public viewing thanks to lookyloo floor-to-glass walls and see-through dividers. But it is the delightful children’s gallery that perhaps speaks most to the project’s overall sensibility, highlighting the community of manmade and natural elements, transparency married to protection, discovery forged by fascination.
Clare has helped tell a portion of that history with her mathematical alignment of the museum. Much of the built space, like much of the province’s own infrastructure, is set along British Cartesian grid lines oriented to true north. But the main galleries’ wing is offset by 17 degrees to honour the seigneurial grid pattern of early French settlers that paralleled the site’s North Saskatchewan River frontage. Still other instances, such as the curved staircase, the children’s gallery and several of the planted pathways, reflect the twists and turns of the river that winds through present-day Edmonton.
It sits, separate but not apart, in its own curvilinear structure, lovingly enfolded by two figurative arms: one in solid bronze-shaded metal, the other in white powder-coat metal with a laser-cut abstraction of fallen aspen leaves. Real aspens sway outside, along with planters of Rocky Mountain Lodgepole Pine and Black Spruce bordering a curved pathway. Despite this screening, passersby on the street can glimpse the building’s colour and warmth through its two-storey glazing; inside, rotating exhibits give visiting children plenty to see and do. The gallery’s visual cues suggest a kids’ tree fort, with the roundness of a tree canopy, dappled light filtering through the laser-cut façade, and notperfectly-straight exterior support columns that resemble tree trunks.
In her turn, Michele Sigurdson told connecting stories inside the space. A huge back-lit perforated panel outside the feature gallery charts the region’s rivers and lakes. A similar curved panel above the adjacent main lobby desk represents eerily similar forks of lightning, a familiar sight to prairie people used to high drama in their skies. At the group arrivals area down one corridor, suspended white-coated metal panels recall ice breakup on the river. These drift down the wall to form part of the reception desk, while overhead, white Bocci light globes represent drops of water. White too is used as the main colour throughout the museum because its neutral base allows displayed artifacts to pop, giving them extra animation.
Dialog principal Donna Clare (herself a product of Northern Alberta) cites her firm’s seamless melding of architecture, where she took the lead, interior design under the direction of principal Michele Sigurdson, and landscape design headed up by Doug Carlyle as a major factor in the project’s success. Toronto-based Michael Lundholm, a highly regarded museum planner, proved instrumental, as did expertise from the construction group Ledcor and an enthusiastic client team. “Alberta is a province very connected to its natural environment,” Clare says. “From the profoundly rich culture of its native peoples, CANADIAN INTERIORS 3/4 2019
No matter where you look — inside, outside, just around the corner — the Royal Alberta Museum speaks to its visitors. This is us, it’s saying. All of this made us who we are today.
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We’re Goin’ Out Tonight!
Text and photos by David Lasker
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IDS opening-night party The opening-night party kicking off the 21st iteration of the Interior Design Show drew thousands of designers, exhibitors and scenesters to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre South Building on January 17. New this year was an adjoining area, IDS Contract, a reboot of IIDEX, originally a freestanding trade show and latterly bundled with the Buildings Show.
1—Staff members at the Ceragres Tile Group booth: Amy Fournier, assistant manager; Liz Dore, boutique sales consultant; Krista Carvalho, A&D sales rep; Sarah Marriner, boutique sales consultant; Michelle Greco, senior sales consultant; and Sascha Romer, boutiques director. 2—At ARD Outdoor: Marse Topuzi, designer; Leslie, wife of Richard Bockner, owner and principal; and Lauren Arendse, sales consultant. 3—At the booth of furniture maker and retailer Mobilia: Ali Velji, interior designer; Sophie Ohayon, marketing director; and Johannes Kau, president. 4—Georgian College Kitchen and Bath Design students who were winners in the school’s December 2018 Blanco Student Design Competition: Ashley McIntyre (first prize) and Kristen Gray (third prize), interior decorators at Ash Gray Interiors; freelance kitchen and bath designer Pukar Risal (honorable mention); and Alexandre, son of Sonia Albert (honorable mention), interior decorator at Sonia Interiors. 5—Andre Hartono, director, residential development at interior design firm figure3; Robin Wickins, studio account executive, Design Within Reach; and interior designer Layth Raoof of his eponymous firm House of Layth. 6—Staff members at the Blanco Canada booth: Lars Schwenteck, senior VP; Jake MacDonald, senior product and quality manager; Steve Gutteres, senior national sales manager, wholesale; Bertram Melzig-Thiel, international sales director; Wendy McPherson, national sales director; Garth Wellin, president; Natasha Broomfield, customer service manager; Michael Thomas, senior operations manager; Tracy Beeby, inside sales specialist; and Edyta Drutis, marketing director. 7—Imran Ahmad, president, and Brad Campeau, sales, at plumbing products distributor Masco Canada; Andrew Glenn, creative director at graphic and interior design firm Agency 79; and Neil Jonsohn, principal at interior design firm U31. 8—Ferro Corrente Jr., COO, and Vince Belmonte, project manager at Unique Store Fixtures; John Filomena, marketing manager, Caesarstone; Stephanie Good, designer and project manager at Unique; Bronson Trottier-Brooks, project manager, business development at Unique; Elizabeth Margles, VP marketing, Caesarstone; and Marco Corrente, VP, Unique. 9—Roxane Bejjany, intern architect; and Brenda Izen, principal at Izen Architecture, inside the Wood Ontario booth they designed. 10—At AM Studio’s booth: spouses Giora and Orly Mayer, co-owners of the lighting firm; and jewelry designer Ayana Fishman, co-owner, Two A Jewelry, flank AM’s blown-glass Moonlights chandelier by jewelry designer Karli Sears.
TSA at DSA’s Y The Toronto Society of Architects (TSA) Bash is held in a building that exemplifies design excellence in the city. The 2018 edition took place at the Metro Toronto YMCA by Diamond Schmitt Architects. A random sampling of party-goers turned up as many engineers as architects, which evoked the old saw that engineers know everything about nothing while architects know nothing about everything.
1—Hamid Vossoughi, senior façade engineering specialist, building sciences, at design and engineering giant WSP; Lida Arbabi, architect, Montgomery Sisam Architects; Arash Zolghadri, technical lead and principal structural consultant at WSP; and Peter Halsall, partner at engineering firm Purpose Building. 2—Bryan Schopf, project director, Maffeis Engineering and Consulting; and engineers Sean Reinsma, and Adam van Bruinessen of Blackwell Structural Engineering. 3—Nicole Crabtree, associate partner, +VG Architects; Michael Verity, partner, Boszko & Verity Construction; and Ting Wang, senior engineer, WorleyParsons. 4—Nazanin Salimi, project co-ordinator; Ladan Dana, intern architect; Sadaf Sabooni, BD manager, Maffeis; and Sepideh Nabaee, regional sales manager, Artemide. 5—Nicola Casciato, design principal at WZMH; and his wife, Nathalie, sales rep at pet food supplier Walker Sales & Marketing. 6—Chris Pommer, partner, Plant Architect; and Michael Taylor, partner at Taylor Smyth Architects with his husband, James O’Connor, VP partnerships at PR firm A&C. 7—Robert Holroyd, partner at building envelope and structural consultancy Engineering Link; his wife, graphic designer Lynn Holroyd; and Brian Dobbins, architectural solutions rep at building-products maker CGC. 8—Melanie Clarke, associate; and Robin Proctor, senior designer, B+H Architects.
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Deck the halls with hipsters DX Intersection, the Design Exchange’s annual fall fundraiser party, “celebrates a Canadian individual or partnership that demonstrates superior creativity, outstanding talent, and innovative vision.” That mission statement, from DX’s press invitation, doesn’t say anything about that individual being a designer. Indeed, last November’s honoree was Oliver El-Khatib, who co-founded the Ovo Sound record label with hiphop artist Drake and producer Noah “40” Shebib. Over the years, DX, in search of a wider audience, has evolved from its original preoccupation as an industrial-design museum to showcase fashion, ballet-costume design and, now, hip-hop. The event also marked the final night of Shauna Levy’s tenure as DX president and CEO.
1—Matt Eckensweiler, founder and production designer at Artefact Creative, who masterminded the event’s lighting; Dajana Radic, senior data and analytics consultant at Ernst & Young; and Anil Mohabir, director of technology and video production at Icon Motion, which provides experiential event design. 2—Allan Guinan, founding partner at interior design firm figure3; and Henriette Grootenhuis, program manager, KPMG. 3—Alda Neves Dube, managing director, Intercity Realty; DX co-chair and KPMG senior director Victoria Marshall; and Alda Gordon, senior director at PR agency GCI. 4—Chantel Bedward, communications, Keilhauer; Guillermo O’Byrne, business solutions expert at app developer Method; Kristen King, brand developer at shoe retailer Aldo; stylist Jo Jin. 5—DX’s Nina Boccia, interim creative director; Gillian Hoff, VP; and Laura Van Zutphen, events. 6—Outgoing DX head Shauna Levy, and guest of honour Oliver El-Khatib. 7—David Carty, known by his stage name Jelleestone, is a Canadian rapper and founder of Rex Entertainment. Behind him and sculptor and graffiti artist Kwest rises Kwest’s Icon sculpture, commissioned by Ovo Sound.
Photos by Maiku Creative Productions
Yesterday’s Papers PULP: Reclaimed Materials Art & Design is a Toronto not-for-profit devoted “to the integration of design, architecture, environmental awareness, and social activity to enhance communities around the city.” Their yearly party is becoming legendary, and typically focuses on alternative uses of discarded materials through installations and activities crafted from reclaimed paper. 1—Fated Forest by Alisha Sunderji and Brianna Smrke (A_B Collective). 2—Giant interactive comic book by Tanya Decarie. 3—Performance artist Mary-Dora Hansen. 4—Paper Poppers by Nancy Nguyen under Ripple Effect by Natalia Bakaeva and Xiao Sunny Li.
South Hill Home salutes Italian design Furnishings retailer South Hill Home (SHH) threw a cocktail party to honor lighting designer Melissa Lunardi, co-founder of VeniceM, based in Veneto, Italy.
1—SHH sales associate Carla Pasta and guest of honour Melissa Lunardi. 2—Interior designer Jeffrey Douglas, owner, Douglas Design Studio (DDS); Laura Stein, principal and CEO, Laura Stein Interiors; Gordana di Monte, creative director, DDS; Colleen Shier, owner, Spruce Interiors; and interior designer Jennifer Glover of her eponymous firm, JG Interiors. 3—Julie Charbonneau of her self-named interior design firm with staff members Noah Shim, senior designer; Mary Assenza, marketing co-ordinator; and Gibran Duarte, designer. 4—John Barnwell, principal at J.R. Barnwell Design; and Trudy Crock, principal of her eponymous interior design firm. 5—Francesca Rea, network development specialist at luxury car maker Maserati, based in Modena, Italy; Sandra Corona Peca, property manager at Corona Properties; SHH co-owner Sandra DeLuca; and Frank Peca, Sandra’s spouse and owner, Corona Properties. 6—David Powell, founder and partner at interior design firm Powell & Bonnell and his firm’s administrator, Marvin Lemus. 7—David Arduini, principal, Albert David Design; and Clare Nisker, principal at Clare Nisker Design. 8—SHH partners: Nella and Sandra DeLuca flank Paul Harper. 9—Studio Munge designers Stephanie Kruschen, Jacky Lac, Justin Shis, Riko Gunawan; Monika Macmillan, executive assistant; and Yuxing Zhang, designer.
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over & out
Floors Well Dressed
Canada’s hotshot luxury menswear designer extends his fashion style to interior decor.
Lagerfeld. Armani. Fendi. Titans in the world of fashion. But another thing these names have in common is they have all explored the subtle boundary between fashion and interior design by releasing lines of interior furnishing products, no doubt fueled by the inspiration to decorate rooms in the same manner as they had dressed generations of men and women with clothing and accessories.
internet I was religiously watching Jeanne Beker’s Fashion Television every Saturday and two of my first designs that I did back in 1998 [were called] Paris and Milan.”
By Peter Sobchak
This isn’t the first collaboration with a non-rug personality. Through the Artist Series program, “W Studio partners with artists from different mediums who interpret carpet design through their own unique perspectives,” says Zach Jensen, a design consultant at W Studio. Debuting at IDS19 this past January were two new additions to the Series: Bates, along with Karim Rashid, whose line carries his signature love of juxtaposing form, colour, and pattern.
A recent Canadian to join this club is Christopher Bates, the Vancouverborn and Italian-trained menswear designer whose attention-grabbing work on runways scored him a coup on another runway recently: designing uniforms for Air Canada employees. His newest collaboration is with Alan Pourvakil, founder and creative director of Toronto-based W Studio, on a new carpet line that is part of the company’s Artist Series. W Studio’s partnership with Bates is something Alan and Christopher have been talking about for some time since meeting at Toronto Men’s Fashion Week in 2016. Perhaps not surprisingly, Bates integrates elements of fashion in his carpet design, specifically his blazers (Giardino) and his love of bow ties (Farfalle), and like his clothing collections employs bold uses of colour and texture. “Fashion has always been my personal interest and one of the main pillars of W Studio,” says Pourvakil. “I remember before the age of the CANADIAN INTERIORS 3/4 2019
Rashid- and Bates-produced designs are executed in the W Dream line, a wool or nylon carpet with ultra-high resolution print that can be used as floor covering but can also be displayed as acoustic wall art that is sound absorbing and non-reflective, transforming any space into a blend of form and function. “I am always looking for new ideas, staying ahead of today’s trends [as well as] creating timeless works of art, as a carpet would last a lifetime or two if it is well cared for,” says Pourvakil. “So it needs to stay beautiful for a very long time and should become [part of] one’s personal belongings, travel with the owner from place to place or perhaps handed down to their children one day.”
Custom pivoting partition system with felt panel inserts Northeastern University â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Toronto Campus Designer: Perkins + Will
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