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CANADIAN INTERIORS

CDN $6.95 September October 2018

September October 2018 www.canadianinteriors.com

Leading by Example Heather Dubbeldam explores and exacts high standards for design.

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ABOVE AND BEYOND REINVENT YOUR NEXT CEILING DESIGN What if you could design a ceiling with any color and pattern you like? What if you could bring your vision to life in just a few weeks? Now there’s no more “what if.” Introducing DesignFlex™ Ceiling Systems. Reinvent your ceiling at armstrongceilings.com/designflex

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CANADIAN INTERIORS 9/10 2018

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09/102018 Features

27 ARCHITECTURAL ADVOCATE Can design change the world? Heather Dubbeldam thinks so. By Leslie C. Smith

35 TO THE WONDER Quadrangle mines travel nostalgia to create a space where working, selling, socializing and exploring collide. By Peter Sobchak

38 RAISING THE BAR figure3’s hip design for CentreCourt’s Transit City presentation centre in Vaughan enables the young condo developer to break records, even before breaking ground. By Diane Chan

43 GRANDEUR IN GASTOWN Furniture retailer Avenue Road fuels Vancouver’s storied east side with a new showroom filled with luxurious and local flavours that pay homage to the city’s cosmopolitan yet raw nature. By Diane Chan

Regulars

15 CAUGHT OUR EYE 21 THE GOODS Outdoor furniture has come a long way, but its essence remains the same. 24 SEEN Highlights and insights from Coverings in Atlanta. 46 SEEN A look at London’s Clerkenwell Design Week. 51 SCENE 54 OVER & OUT A new interpretation of the ubiquitous perfume stall shows not every retail entity can be redirected to the internet. COVER – Heather Dubbeldam in her eponymous firm’s office, which is on the third-floor of a multi-purpose building they own. Photo © 2018 Revelateur Studio / A. Marthouret

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NeoCon 2018

NeoCon rang in a historic 50 years, serving as an incubator for commercial design and catalyst for the future of the industry.

Samsung Experience Store More than just a place to buy products, Quadrangle’s environment for Samsung in Toronto’s Eaton Centre is a touch point and event space for the brand.

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9/10 2018 CANADIAN INTERIORS


Linen™ PANEL ©2015 modularArts, Inc. U.S.

September| October 2018 / V55 #5

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Canadian Interiors magazine is published by iQ Business Media Inc. 101 Duncan Mill Road, Suite 302 Toronto ON M3B 1Z3 Telephone 416-441-2085 e-mail: info@canadianinteriors.com website: www.canadianinteriors.com Canadian Interiors publishes six 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 (plus taxes) U.S.A. $71.95 USD per year, Overseas $98.95 USD per year. Back issues > Back copies are available for $15 for delivery in Canada, $20 USD for delivery in U.S.A. and $30 USD overseas. Please send payment to: Canadian Interiors, 101 Duncan Mill Road, Suite 302 Toronto ON M3B 1Z3 or order online www.canadianinteriors.com For subscription and back issues inquiries please call 416-441-2085 x104 e-mail: circulation@canadianinteriors.com, or go to our website at: www.canadianinteriors.com 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).

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inside

Get My Attention

These days, everyone wants an experience and in theory are willing to pay for it. So naturally retailers are anxious to tap into that, and think “experiential retail” is the way to provide something different so that a customer wants to come into a store. It goes back to the logic that if that customer can buy a product without coming into a store, why would they want to go into a store? These days, as with everything, you need to give people a reason to look up from their phones, and to do that you’ve got to give them something entertaining, informative, or anything that can’t be provided at home. Design is obviously now a big part of that, making a store’s experience stand out using technology and other elements that just weren’t around in the past, like virtual fitting rooms, celebrity drop-ins, or events. Samsung’s new flagship store at the Eaton Centre’s north entrance is the posterchild for this strategy: celebrity chef demonstrations; photography and videography tutorials; digital

design workshops; George Brown College hosting cooking class series; and Hot Docs premiering documentaries with intimate Q&As with filmmakers are just a few examples that have occurred since the location’s opening in January 2018. Yet there is something telling about the experiential aspect of shopping when you look at how many online stores have turned around and opened a brick-and-mortar store. Clothing retailers such as Frank and Oak or Indochino were successful online and developed their businesses there, yet when they opened street-level stores their market presences increased dramatically, arguably because there is a segment that wants to touch, feel, and get advice that you can’t do online. Retail is often considered the Petri dish for new forms of design, because it is a landscape that changes so frequently and so dramatically. Change is happening right now, no doubt, but the idea that there is a retail apocalypse coming is greatly exaggerated. The reverse migration of online retailers opening physical stores is a testament to that, as is the massive waiting list for retailers to get into malls such as Yorkdale Shopping Centre or the Eaton Centre in Toronto, where new concepts are debuted in astonishing numbers. That said, retailers can’t survive, much less thrive any longer simply by having a large number of stores selling decent-quality product at a fair price. They need to be more interesting than an iPhone.

14 Peter Sobchak

psobchak@canadianinteriors.com

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caught our eye

Let There Be Light For an exhibit of new work by ceramic artist France Goneau in the Musée des maîtres et artisans du Québec, Montréalbased architect Jean Verville designed a scenography that accentuates the architecture of the museum’s home: a neo-Gothic church. While Goneau’s ceramic body ornaments explore issues of beautification, feminine identity and their inherent constraints, Verville’s use of dark reflective surfaces in a circular layout both highlight and contrast them against the museum’s imposing stained-glass window. www.mmaq.qc.ca

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caught our eye

Go West! The best and brightest of western Canadian design is honoured this year in the IDIBC Awards 2018, with recognition given to 56 winners across 11 project categories. One of the standouts is Boardwalk Optometry by Vancouver-based Cutler, winner of both an Award of Excellence as well as Interior Designer of the Year. The 2,700-sq.-ft. optometrist office and eye-wear shop embraces traditional Japanese design principles like simplicity, space, and connection to nature. The environment is minimalist with an emphasis on natural materials and textures supported by a neutral backdrop. www.idibc.org

Speed Dial Bell Mobility tapped figure3 to come up with a new mall kiosk that focuses on a core offering of pre-paid SIM cards to new Canadians, seniors, and students. The big idea imbedded within the design of the newly-branded Lucky Mobile is the instantly recognizable SIM card shape as a visual signal. In the 8x10-ft. kiosk, clients interact directly with phones while magnetized and window-cling infographics aim to overcome language barriers for those new to Canada. www.figure3.com CANADIAN INTERIORS 9/10 2018

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hospitable by nature, modular by design. /

Designed by Christophe Pillet, Borough’s modular lounge collection introduces a casual sophistication to any social setting.

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the goods

Chill Out

Outdoor furniture has come a long way, but its essence remains the same. From cottage-country favourites to backyard staples, this season’s new products keep outdoor relaxation and recreation alive. By Shannon Moore

Asian Traveler | Roche Bobois In celebration of its 40th anniversary in the United States, Roche Bobois hired New Yorker Stephen Burks to design a collection of outdoor furniture that celebrates international, innovative style. Enter his sculptural Asian Traveler chair, made of woven leather-textured polyurethane cord, and Dacron foam cushions. Available in a variety of colours, the chair’s signature element is an oversized hood that emulates a tent, allowing users to hunker down and camp out in the comfort of their backyards. www.roche-bobois.com

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EMU Terramare Series | Coalesse Designed by Studio Chiaramonte/Marin for Coalesse, the EMU Terramare Series combines the classical silhouettes of cane-and-canvas outdoor furniture with sleek materials. Tables, armchairs and lounge seating in die-cast aluminum add a modern twist, while water repellent cushions and eco-leather accents ensure comfort and weather resistance. The lounge seating contains curved armrests for comfort, and is fully customizable, available in seven colours and three seating options. www.coalesse.com

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CANVAS | Canadian Tire Canadian Tire’s 2018 Backyard CANVAS Collection features a range of furniture, lighting, tableware, outdoor rugs and decorative accessory options to style any kind of outdoor space. The line of new gas fire tables and pits, for example, feature sleek modern designs, classic finishes and sturdy frames for durability and ease of use all summer long. www.canadiantire.ca

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the goods

Hopper Combo | Extremis Ideal for exterior office meetings and team lunches, two sloped access points along the bench allow for a graceful entry and exit (think business skirts and delicate dress pants), whereas comfortable chairs make long meetings more bearable. The Hopper even comes with a variety of customizable features including seating for 4, 6, 8 or 10 people (in bench or chair options - or both), and galvanized steel or powder-coated aluminum legs. www.extremis.com CANADIAN INTERIORS 9/10 2018

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10th | Exteta In recognition of its 10th anniversary, Exteta has collaborated with designer Massimo Castagna to launch a new furniture collection that brings the diversity of interior design, out: leather, fabrics, solid wood, stone and other materials are paired together in tables, chairs, sun loungers and couches. www.exteta.it

Serpentine Outdoor Sofa | Ligne Roset With padded cushions that literally slither through a slender metal frame, Ligne Roset’s Serpentine Outdoor Sofa is both fitting in style and name. Design ed by Éléonore Nalet, the sofa contains a light, charcoal aluminum body, polyurethane foam and polyester fibre cushions, and removable covers available in ecru or taupe. www.ligne-roset.com

METEO | Kettal Studio The first collaboration between Kettal and designer Konstantin Grcic, this simple yet stylish parasol aims to explore the largely untapped design potential of this classic sun shade system. The oversized umbrella is supported by a sheet metal or cast iron base plate in a selection of the brand’s signature neutral colour palette. Likewise, users can pick between a basic model with a manual pulley system or high-end version with an integrated gas piston for easy use.

STRATA Beam Line | Landscape Forms Designer Jess Sorel has juxtaposed warm slated wood surfaces against the strength of cast concrete, and has used melastone in a full colour palette for easy custom­ ization. The new 31”- and 69”-long benches join an existing 80”-long option available with or without arms and backs, bringing solidity and style to outdoor dining settings. www.landscapeforms.com

Amphora | Bover Barcelona Bover Barcelona’s new Amphora Lamp pays tribute to the terracotta amphora vases that traditionally decorated gardens and terraces. Designers Alex Fernández Camps and Gonzalo Milà have set synthetic wicker baskets on a tripod base made of aluminum and stainless steel, making the lamps decorative and sturdy. The lamps are available in light beige and rattan brown. www.bover.es/en

www.kettal.com

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Ascale | Tau Look over your shoulder, Caesarstone, Cambria and Silestone. Spain’s Tau introduced a 10x5-ft. tile as part of its new Ascale collection. At that size, Tau is already giving quartz solid-surfacing material a run for the money. But Tau also one-ups them: an electromagnetic apparatus under the slab transforms the top into an induction-cooking surface, thereby eliminating the typical disruptive glassceramic hob. Now, the cooking and prep areas are indistinguishable. www.ascale.es

Earth | Adex USA If a show devoted to ceramic tile is eye candy, then Adex USA’s translucent crackle glazes, distinguished by their fine spider web of lines, are the glace mints. The most traditional-looking of the crackle variants, the Earth series, has rustic edges, which is industry parlance for slightly irregular edges, which give an oldfashioned, handmade look. www.adexusa.com

Funky Rainbow Sticks | Allison Eden Studios New York-based Allison Eden Studios’ founder Allison Goldenstein’s work straddles the boundary between art and craft, so it was apropos to see her in her booth swathed in a sheath dress made of a newly launched fabric version of her colourfully striped Funky Rainbow Sticks, which in turn typifies her work in small-format, highly decorated stained-glass mosaic tile. www.allisoneden.com

Metropolitain | Colorker Group Spain-based Colorker Group’s ZYX brand launched the Metropolitain collection of tiles inspired by the world’s great subways or metros, including London, New York, Paris and, surprisingly, the Toronto Transit Commission’s Museum stop. ZYX’s inspiration was “this architectural gem of the Canadian city” paying “tribute to ancient Egyptian deities, Toltec warriors and reproductions of the Doric columns of the Parthenon or the Forbidden City.” www.colorker.com

Styles of the Tiles

By David Lasker

Coverings is the largest international tile and stone show in North America, held this year in Atlanta, and according to hyper-active British tile journalist Joe Simpson, “There’s always a slight difference with the American show because many European tile producers essentially bleach it. They leave most of their coloured tiles at home and come with a very neutral palette. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. They think it’s a white, taupe, bone market because that’s what they show.” CANADIAN INTERIORS 9/10 2018

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seen

Fusta | Fanal While other suppliers exploit the latest advances in digital printing to mimic the look and feel of real wood, the Spanish firm Fanal’s Fusta series emulates the mottled man-made grain (like the edge of plywood, but thicker) of pressed woodchips as they appear in engineered wood products such as particle board and parallel-strand lumber. www.fanal.com

Chalk | Marca Corona 1741 The trompe l’oeil representation of three-dimensional space on a two-dimensional surface has always been a popular theme in marble intarsia and wood parquetry and it endures in ceramic tile patterns that bestow an old European castle look. The rhomboids in dusty desaturated hues in the Chalk porcelain stoneware series from Italy’s Marca Corona 1741 dance with a subtle inner life as we perceive them in rapid succession as being flat, then as having depth.

Infinity | Landmark Ceramics Residential designers often strive to bring the outside inside, to make the interior and exterior feel like a continuous space. Now it’s possible to use the same tile design on terraces, pool surrounds and indoor floors and walls, as in this example showcasing Tennessee-based Landmark Ceramics’s Infinity collection. www.landmarkceramics.com

www.marcacorona.it

Parkway | Bellavita Parkway is “100 per cent unglazed and as raw as it can get,” says Vancouverbased Bellavita’s creative development director, Ryan Fasan. The inspiration was “to showcase the beauty of a raw and unadorned clay in a modern reboot.” To give a handmade, craftsman feel to the collection, the biscuit (the white, unglazed tile) is extruded in a nominal format that provides “controlled irregularity” in the body of the tile. www.bellavitatile.com

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Slimtech Concreto | Lea Ceramiche Concrete-effect tiles have been hot for years. “But at Coverings, Lea Ceramiche presented what has to be the most effective, carefully considered and fully realized concrete portfolio to date,” says Tile & Stone Journal editor Joe Simpson. “In this achingly beautiful collection” titled Slimtech Concreto, designer Fabio Novembre’s inspiration was the way water reacts with dry cement, expressed as the contrast of shiny and matte surface sectors in which the tone-on-tone decorations are never too loud. www.ceramichelea.it

9/10 2018 CANADIAN INTERIORS

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Project > Visa | Designer > HOK | Photographer > Tom Arban

SVEND NIELSEN Custom Furniture

Project > OMERS | Designer > Figure 3

Svend Nielsen Ltd. is an established Designer/ Manufacturer of the finest custom furniture and millwork. Drawing upon more than 60 years experience, we take great pride in crafting products that satisfy the most discerning eye. As a company we have a proven strength in working with designers and architects. We take your vision on paper and translate it into reality through a collaborative process in which our clients’ needs are seen as paramount. Over the years we have demonstrated our ability to handle the most demanding projects, executing contracts on time and in a professional manner.

Project > Dinner by Design | Designer > Gensler | Photographer > Alec Ng

Custom Furniture, Millwork and Public Seating 55 Penn Drive, Toronto, Canada, M9L 2A6 Tel: 416-749-0131 • Fax: 416-749-0414 nielsen@svendnielsen.com • www.svendnielsen.com

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Architectural Advocate 1:15 PM

Heather Dubbeldam is showing off her latest project, a reno’d threestorey building from the 1920s situated on Toronto’s St. Clair Avenue West. While workmen peel away the layers of concrete and linoleum on ancient pine boards that constitute the old entrance, she talks with them about the need to bolster the underlying joists. She is in her element.

that the year is only half over and her firm has already picked up five awards, including this magazine’s Best of Canada Award for the Walper Hotel in Kitchener, Ont., shared in conjunction with Dialogue 38 and Jill Greaves Design. This latest batch raises the company’s total award count since 2006 to nearly 50.

Dubbeldam says she “loves the smells of a construction site,” and liaising with the trades. She’s a visual person: “As soon as I see a drawing, I can immediately understand the final product.” She remembers how, as a small child, she enjoyed building things out of wood scraps. In other words, she was born this way. Hardly surprising, seeing that she is the fourth generation in her Dutch-descent family to work as an architect.

The St. Clair project is close to her heart, because it is her own building that she’s renovating. The exterior is simple enough: brick walls daubed pale grey, with windows and doors made more prominent through the cheeky use of dark grey drop-shadows. Inside, the basement is slated for a private apartment, and the ground floor will house a coffee shop and retail space. The second and third storeys are reserved as a coworking creative space and the architectural firm’s own office, respectively. Both floors are open-concept with a handful of small, discreet offices attached. Both flaunt an urban-cool surround of exposed brick, generous windows, integrated LED lighting, original maple floors, and new Baltic birch trim and fittings set against a colour scheme of white with dark grey accents that echoes the exterior motif. True to Dubbeldam’s personal and professional sustainability mantra, the roof will eventually be a green one with, she hopes, added solar panelling.

Nor is it surprising that she now finds herself the head of the respected, multi-disciplinary studio Dubbeldam Architecture + Design. Or that her business card boasts a string of industry-related acronyms — OAA, FRAIC, LEED AP — and her website includes a few more designations: Vice Chair of the Design Industry Advisory Committee (DIAC); and co-director of Twenty + Change (a national organization focused on emerging Canadian designers), among others. Or, indeed,

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By Leslie C. Smith

Arnaud Marthouret

Can design change the world? Heather Dubbeldam thinks so.

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Dubbeldam is excited by her company’s move from downtown to midtown (“I can walk to work every day in 15 minutes!”). But she’s most passionate about the co-working space, a place she has dubbed “Lokaal,” the Dutch word for “local.” The brainchild of her husband and business manager, Kevin McIntosh, Lokall is meant to attract creatives in need of an office area as well as the synergy that comes from group activity. Dubbeldam intends to jumpstart artistic innovation in this neglected part of the city. “St. Clair is transitioning,” she says. “We’re trying to build our own creative hub.” She envisions a space where people can not only work during the day, but attend art exhibitions, networking events and seminars after-hours. Some of those seminars will be imparting directional trends and business facts-of-life to freshly fledged architects, modules to be led by Dubbeldam herself, who is no stranger to the lecture circuit. CANADIAN INTERIORS 9/10 2018

Paying it forward to the next generation is something Dubbeldam feels strongly about, no less than the focus on a multi-disciplinary approach to design. Her own creative bent led her away from architecture on a “break year” after a six-year initial stint with KPMB in the 1990s. “It was the best firm to start with,” Dubbeldam says of her time with the company. “They’re very rigorous, have very high standards. You learn so much about the details of design.” Still, she felt the need to explore other creative outlets. She had always done photography on the side; now she turned to it as a full-time endeavour, producing commercial and fine art pieces. She also experimented with graphic and furniture design. For a while, these pursuits satisfied her. But, soon enough, “I was pulled back into architecture. I felt I needed to design larger physical things, spaces.”

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Bowing to the inevitable, Dubbeldam opened her own architectural and design firm in 2002, located in an old Fashion District building that was home to a dozen or more creative companies. She found being surrounded by like-minded peers stimulating and inspiring (an experience that she hopes to recreate for others at Lokaal). She also specifically formulated her business to provide clients with a wholecloth approach to their needs, covering exterior and interior, landscape, custom furniture and lighting design.


Left: Each room in Kitchener, Ont.’s historic Walper Hotel is unique and contains custom millwork, furnishings, light fixtures and finishes. Traditional trimwork was maintained to contrast with the new material palette of warm walnut and ash wood that continues from floor to furnishings. Bright pops of colour in the furniture and high gloss doors bring a fresh new look to the rooms combined with bold monochromatic graphics on feature walls.

Jens Langen (above left, above); Gillian Jackson (right)

Some of her first clients were people who had bought furnishings and artwork from her. Word spread and led to Dubbeldam Architecture + Design’s flourishing residential list. The company became renowned for making best-use of the relatively small Toronto housing footprint, employing clean lines, unique materials, telling details, and lots of natural and synthetic light. Then too, it was on the cusp of the movements towards sustainability and the extension of space through external elements. One great example of this work is the Through House, completed in 2012, wherein materials, colours and forms elongate sightlines through the house to the very end of the backyard. The highly photogenic project ended up garnering seven awards and receiving 19 editorial mentions. Another stand-out is the nearly completed House for an Urban Farmer, featuring a symphony of integrated sustainable systems, both passive and active, designed to maximum energy savings and comfort. These systems include a 250-foot-deep vertical geothermal unit in the front yard, in-floor and in-ceiling radiant heating and cooling, an energy recovery ventilator in addition to natural ventilation through a central courtyard, triple-glazed windows with three low-e coatings, rainwater harvesting and a beautiful rooftop garden.

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9/10 2018 CANADIAN INTERIORS


Bob Gundu (this page)

Left spread: Integral to the Through House design are strong horizontals, such as the conjoined kitchen island/sapele-wood dining table; a long limestone sink counter; a linear pattern in the heated porcelain-tile floor; and even an industrial-felt fireplace. These push through the transparent back wall, where they morph into a barbecue counter, an outdoor dining table, a tile terrace. Right spread: Situated on a narrow lot in an older Toronto neighbourhood, the Skygarden House provides a fresh interpretation of the traditional pitched roof house, referencing the domestic scale and form of its neighbours while utilizing an unequivocally modern architectural language.

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A Shai Gil (this page)

Although the firm still handles residential projects, of late its portfolio increasingly contains larger commercial work, such as offices for Slack, Jantzi Research and Travelzoo, and renovations for such organizations as Urbanspace Property Group and the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art. Two upcoming projects Dubbeldam is most pumped about are the mixed-use development of the Bata Shoe Factory, in Batawa, Ont., under the auspices of lead architects Quadrangle, and the Canadian Centre for Rural Creativity (CCRC). The former is a planned, completely wired complex situated on a huge geothermal field. The latter, located in Blyth, Ont., is a proposed year-round arts centre and cultural hub crafted to attract rural artists of all stripes, from fashion to fine arts to performance. With the addition of the most advanced systems available, Dubbeldam is targeting LEED Gold stature and would like to see the centre become a showcase for sustainable design.

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The architect/designer is fast achieving expert status in the field of sustainability. In addition to being a LEED Accredited Professional and a member of both Sustainable Buildings Canada and the Canada Green Building Council, she is presently hard at work researching the latest methodology for a Prix de Rome report entitled The Next Green – Innovation in Sustainability Through Design. Dubbeldam was awarded 9/10 2018 CANADIAN INTERIORS

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Left spread: Travelzoo’s brand colours of red for action and blue for tranquility are combined with contrasting colours to enliven their Toronto office. The conference and lunch-room volumes allude to modes and nodes of highspeed transport such as train stations and airports; the huddle rooms and lounge areas suggest cabins, parks and beaches. Right spread: A former knitting and textile factory was refashioned to accommodate tech giant Slack’s new Toronto office. A central core was created to host a variety of communal spaces, with the openings to those spaces ‘carved’ out of the seemingly solid core and accented with their own contrasting pop of colour.

Shai Gil (this spread)

the prestigious prize in 2016. It enabled her to travel to Denmark last year; Norway, Sweden and northern Germany are slated for this year’s visits. In Scandinavia, she has scheduled meetings with architects and organizations dedicated to new and improved technologies for built environments, from individual structures to entire cities. Impressions gleaned from architectural tours, conferences and symposia are disseminated on her blog at nextgreen.ca and showcased on YouTube. Her continuing in-depth research on sustainability has made Dubbeldam a valued speaker on the subject at Canadian architectural schools and institutes. By studying the Northern European approach, which she views as more cutting edge than here in North America, both in terms of design and carbon-neutral technology, she wants to provide a way forward that can be applied to the Canadian climate context. In particular, as she stated in the February, 2018 edition of Canadian Architect:

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“We hope to share how these building-integrated sustainable solutions generate a unique spatial and artistic architectural language, one in which energy efficiency and design merge seamlessly.” This goal has perhaps become even more pressing after this summer’s over-heated foretaste of global warming to come. Her advocacy is as much a part of Dubbeldam’s character as the artistic and exacting attitude she brings to her architectural projects. Will she pass these facets on to her own daughters, now aged 14 and 11? Does she see a fifth generation of Dubbeldam architects in the offing? She laughs: “I’m not pushing them into it, but they both have shown a propensity. This profession is all-consuming, not so much a job as a lifestyle. They’re going to have to decide for themselves.”

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At least, given their mother’s accomplishments, it will be an informed decision. 9/10 2018 CANADIAN INTERIORS

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To theWonder Quadrangle mines travel nostalgia to create a space where working, selling, socializing and exploring collide.

A brand that is instantly recognizable is an envious item to have. Companies spend millions to achieve such a thing, on elements ranging from logos to tag lines to merchandise to retail spaces and beyond. Travel Centre has such a thing. Most people know of and recognize the travel agency’s sidewalk and mall presences by the bold red-andwhite corporate colours, the whiteboards with hand-written prices of the day’s flight deals, and a peek through the glass window of the oversized wall map of the world inside, beckoning to those who are perpetually bitten by the travel bug.

By Peter Sobchak Photography by Adrien Williams

Above: The floating black box conference room that hovers over the retail/lobby area is in “ironic calculated contrast” with the historic post and beam interiors.

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That storefront branding still exists, but Travel Centre actually does a lot more than just book flights and resort stays for you. Their business strategy includes corporate and professional travel, event management and similar entities, and a decision was made to experiment 9/10 2018 CANADIAN INTERIORS

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with a physical environment that blends these multiple brands into one location, merging a storefront retail area and event space with united offices for Flight Centre’s products: an ambitious goal for which Toronto-based Quadrangle was tapped to pull off. “A key challenge of this project was to design a workplace that easily accommodates and unifies the multi-use spaces from day to night, while bringing together all the entities within the Flight Centre brand,” says George Foussias, Design Director at Quadrangle. “We started by locating an anchor, vintage building, into which we fit a boutique retail store, a signature event space, and a state-of-the-art work environment that speaks of travel, wonder, and adventure.”

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The vintage building of which he references is located at the intersection of King Street West and Spadina Avenue in downtown Toronto, originally built as a 19th century garment factory. It was important to Quadrangle to remain sensitive to both the historic quality of the building and rapidly intensifying area, and did so by keeping the scale and heritage quality of the façade intact and creating an interior using a materials palette that matches the bones of the building while capturing the attention of passersby.

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Opposite: Elements inspired by explorers’ clubs, sea-journeys and the romance of historic travel provide a sense of playfulness, such as mobile workstations concealed in oversized leather trunks. Lower left: Work zones for each brand are demarcated through bold colour blocking, while white paint on the walls and ceiling helps to heighten daylight. Above: Employees come together around the lower level kitchen under a screen banner of the company’s motto.

From the outset it was known that this three-storey, 10,000-sq.-ft. space would not be the new home for Flight Centre’s head office (that is elsewhere in the city). Instead, it became an opportunity for Quadrangle to work with the client on a larger plan “to create narratives that would inspire people to travel, that Flight Centre can then put on various platforms,” says Foussias. And the interior narrative that Quadrangle concocted — influenced by 19th century explorers’ clubs and movies about fantasy travel including The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou — is both unique to this location and truly delightful.

When entering the double-height retail lobby the first thing to grab one’s attention is the angled black box boardroom. This futuristic element, which Foussias calls “an object, not a room,” hovers over a dual retail counter and reception desk and is glazed at both ends. This “fishbowl for all the brands,” as Foussias puts it, provides transparency deep into the space while also framing views to the street. This retail space includes tables, casual chairs and banquette window benches beside brochure racks, the floor is decorated with a pattern of oversized passport stamps, and in a nod to the old whiteboards, digital monitors display the days’ best travel deals in a style reminiscent of airport arrival/departure signs.

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On the upper level, an event space dubbed the Explorers Club serves as a drop-in workspace for visiting executives and a backdrop for social media broadcasts, all serviced by an open-concept kitchen and bar. Informal gatherings can take place in the Map & Charts Room or the Travel Library, and desks concealed in oversized travel trunks on casters can be opened to provide personal workspaces. The lower level workplace area brings the various Flight Centre brands together in a single location. The brick walls were painted white to optimize reflected daylight in the space, while each brand is demarcated by its own colour scheme. Open-style benching workstations are organized into departmental pods while individual desks are unassigned, allowing teams to ebb and flow as demand requires.

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In the Wes Anderson film that served as partial inspiration for this project, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, the title character explains that his goal is to set out to find the shark that ate his friend and destroy it. “Nobody knows what’s going to happen. And then we film it. That’s the whole concept,” says Zissou. And in a way that seems to be at work here, too: you may not know what you’re looking for when you walk in off the street, but it will most likely be an adventure. 9/10 2018 CANADIAN INTERIORS

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Raising the Bar

figure3’s hip design for CentreCourt’s Transit City presentation centre in Vaughan enables the young condo developer to break records, even before breaking ground.

By Diane Chan Photography by Steve Tsai Photography

Earlier this year, Toronto’s already red-hot condominium market hit a record high with new construction soaring by 103 per cent to 63,396 units, a gain Canada’s largest city hadn’t seen since the 1990s. While most new development was focused on urban areas, recent sales data suggests building is rapidly moving into the suburbs with sales of ‘pre-sold’ units (those in projects that have yet to break ground) reaching 13,228 in 2017: a 54 per cent increase over the previous year — even with a 20 per cent rise in prices — according to the Canadian Real Estate Association. This was the first time the number of condos sold in the 905 region officially rivalled that of the big city. CANADIAN INTERIORS 9/10 2018

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CentreCourt is one of approximately 90 high-rise residential developers vying for this business. While the five-year-old Toronto company focused locally for its first dozen projects, it travelled 43 minutes north from Union Station (via Toronto Transit Commission’s latest extension) for lucky number 13. Here, next door to the new Vaughan Metropolitan Centre stop — along with support from real estate investor SmartREIT — the first phase of Transit City was conceived: a 100-acre community masterplan comprising a restaurant, a YMCA/library combination, and of course, a duo of 55-storey high residential buildings (the tallest in York region) designed by local legends Diamond Schmitt

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This spread: The sales centre needed to reflect Transit City’s brand principle of timeless restrained luxury. Everything about the buying journey is considered, from recreating the sense of arrival in a lobby that prominently feature the restaurant Buca, to the use of opulent materials and finishes that speak to amenities offered at Transit City.

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Left: With only eight weeks to design and construct the space, sourcing in-stock materials, lighting and furnishings was a major challenge. The ceiling is constructed of simple drywall light coves painted black with off-the-shelf track light fixtures to emulate luxury retail lighting while a local lighting designer custombuilt the feature decorative lights to add an artistic touch.

trasted by matte black fixtures and Scandinavian-style stools, recalling the bar of a chic café one might stumble across in Milan’s Zona Tortona. An artisanal chandelier custom-made by Toronto’s Commute Design and paired with strategically placed recessed linear and concealed lighting injects sparkle and drama. “We wanted to speak to the unrivalled amenities to come,” explains Rahimzadeh.

Architects, housing approximately 1,100 units offered in 10 different layouts (buyers also receive YMCA memberships). With completion slated for 2020, the company of 30 employees had some selling to do. To enhance the highly competitive process, it called on Toronto interior design firm figure3, which had previously devised CentreCourt’s Axis condos (at the corner of Church and Carlton streets) to execute Transit City’s presentation centre: perhaps the most critical marketing channel of all. “figure3 designs spaces that are memorable, truly creative and that differentiate us from the sea of condo projects out there,” said Shamez Virani, president of CentreCourt.

The second space which comprises two seating vignettes is decidedly cozier with subtle neutral tones that soften the entire presentation centre primarily made up of steel and stone. Low sofas and chairs are upholstered and accessorized in various shades of grey, and coffee and side tables are covered with glass or stone, atop wooden and brass legs, both lending warmth as well as hinting at elements in the reception area. In the third space, Transit City’s suite finish palettes framed in brass are displayed like works of art within separate wood niches; across four sets of pared-back ‘signing’ tables, renderings of the master plan receive similar treatment on the opposite wall.

“The developer had a bold vision and came to us with a clear brief: to bring the downtown vibe north with a completely new product that proudly reflects the once-in-a-lifetime legacy nature of the project,” says Houman Rahimzadeh, senior team leader at figure3. “As designers, we relish these kinds of challenges.” However the firm was met with an additional challenge: turning the job around in only eight weeks.

Throughout the centre, the common element of brass — in the panelling, lighting, furniture, and vertical fins between tiles of elevated areas — connects the three spaces. Lighting coves which house track light fixtures are painted black to reference luxury retail. Technology is seamlessly integrated to effectively communicate the project and its product offerings during the shopping process.

And that they did. In response to the traditional and ubiquitous flashy five-star real-estate buying experience, figure3 opted for restrained yet refined luxury through a timeless and monochromatic palette, opulent materials, and lush textures. Ultimately, the studio wanted the 2,700-sq.ft. centre to feel like a contemporary high-end retail boutique such as Saint Laurent or Valentino, defined by minimal shapes and fine details. In the first space, the anticipated opening of acclaimed Toronto restaurant Buca — right in Transit City’s lobby — provided inspiration for the reception area which is outfitted with natural stone in soft grey against dark wood panelling and open shelving with elegant glass doors, conCANADIAN INTERIORS 9/10 2018

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As it turns out, figure3’s design would help CentreCourt set another record: the most successful condominium launch in the history of the GTA, measured by units sold. Within two weeks of Transit City’s presentation centre opening, all 1,100 condos were sold. A week later, CentreCourt released a third tower to the market with 500 more units.

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Grandeur in Gastown By Diane Chan

Last December, while most of the country was participating in classic Canadian winter, a few of us flocked to South Beach for Art Basel and Design Miami. During the annual exhibition that attracts gallerists and A-listers alike, we had the privilege of attending an intimate gathering hosted by Avenue Road co-founder and president Stephan Weishaupt in his striking 1932 Art Deco home (originally designed by local architect Martin L. Hampton); Weishaupt’s third residence after Toronto and New York. Complete with fluted columns, terrazzo floors, and whitewashed walls, the eclectic dwelling is curated with contemporary and vintage gems by an impressive ‘who’s who of design’ from Oscar Niemeyer and Paola Navone to Michael Anastassiades and Kelly Wearstler.

Furniture retailer Avenue Road fuels Vancouver’s storied east side with a new showroom filled with luxurious and local flavours that pay homage to the city’s cosmopolitan yet raw nature.

Photography by Richard Powers

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Fast-forward months later — and 4,500 kilometres northwest — to the launch of Avenue Road Vancouver, the retailer’s inaugural appearance on Canada’s west coast. Located in the city’s oldest and arguably trendiest neighbourhood, this Gastown outpost represents the latest addition to Weishaupt’s roster of flagship showrooms in Toronto and New York, and residential concept spaces in New York and Miami. He felt the area had a high design consciousness, making it a strong market for the company. “We have many exclusive brands to North America and this helps us expand their profiles, not only within the city, but to all of western Canada. We are always exploring ways to connect with a design-minded audience.” 9/10 2018 CANADIAN INTERIORS

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Previous page and this spread: The building’s original Douglas Fir columns and beams were integrated into the design to pay tribute to the region’s natural environment and the spirit of Vancouver’s older architecture. The juxtaposition of raw and refined was a guiding design ethos, with certain materials and elements set in contrast to each other, such as smooth grey oak flooring paired with sandblasted marble or industrial steel set against softly lit walls.

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The result is an exquisite juxtaposition of raw and refined. Throughout the contemporary space, flashes of materials and finishes contrast one another: exposed wooden beams frame softly lit walls and smooth sandblasted marble sit alongside textured grey oak flooring. The standout architectural element, however, is a pairing of warm Douglas fir columns and beams — preserved from the original building — with illuminated heavy steel arches. The grand but intimate move recalls both the vernacular architecture of Gastown and the natural scenery that surrounds. Filling out the upper level is sumptuous furnishings from the likes of Canada’s Yabu Pushelberg, Jacques Guillon, and Unit Five, plus international names such as Christophe Delcourt, Bruno Moinard, Van Rossum, and Kvadrat by Raf Simons.

It was then decided Avenue Road’s new abode would be a century-old warehouse located in the Downtown Eastside, at the corner of West Pender and Hamilton Street. “We didn’t set out to select a heritage site, but we were drawn to the building because, much like our pieces, it had stories to tell, having been home to a newspaper and a furrier for decades,” recalls Weishaupt. “The dramatic scale of the building enables us to present a series of shifting scenes that people can discover as they move through the space and create both intimate and epic moments.”

The equally dramatic main floor showcases another handmade composition: a spirited flight of Pacific loons developed by porcelain manufacturer Nymphenburg from Munich (Weishaupt’s place of birth); an extensive collection of the German brand’s objects and tiling are also on display. In addition, this level houses Avenue Road’s exclusive category specialists The Rug Company, Wittman by Jamie Hayon, Tribù outdoor furniture, Obumex kitchens, and Apure lighting for Porsche Design Studio. At the entrance of the shop off Hamilton Street, revered local architectural florist Hanna by Celsia Floral welcomes customers with a sensorial experience (a future tea salon is also brewing).

To execute the conversion, Weishaupt brought in Toronto firm and long-time client Abraham Chan Design Office (ACDO), a boutique studio specializing in luxury retail, hospitality, and residential projects across the globe. “Working alongside Stephan, we conceived an interior that could act as part gallery and part residence. It involved the transformation of the existing architecture into something more to display Avenue Road’s luxurious and eclectic collection,” said Abraham Chan, principal of ACDO. Over two storeys of the 12,000-sq.-ft. structure, Chan devised a space that would accommodate Vancity’s cosmopolitan yet laidback culture and character. “It was critical to retain the ambiance of an international curator such as Avenue Road, but also reflect the beauty of the area’s raw nature; these became our inspirations. We also collaborated with local artists to ensure the design would be uniquely Vancouver. It’s all in the details.” Art studio Moss & Lam, for example, hand-fabricated one of the main in-store installations: an energetic feature wall comprising 1,200 glistening ceramic petals glazed with various shades of blue on custom blackened panels, evoking the movement of the ocean, one of British Columbia’s main attractions.

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“We converted the warehouse into an urban environment that would be a bit more personal, with custom spaces that would encourage customers to explore, allowing them to enjoy the process of discovery,” says a satisfied Chan of the final product. Adds Weishaupt, “The Avenue Road concept is as much about how different inspiration and elements come together as it is about the story of any individual piece. This helps make the showroom an elevated yet unintimidating place people can visit frequently for inspiration, and not only when they have a project to work on.” 9/10 2018 CANADIAN INTERIORS

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seen Outdoor Pod | The Meeting Pod As the name implies, Meeting Pod manufactures meeting pods that provide private meeting space and breakout areas in open plan working and leisure environments. The modular designs enable two-person meeting pods to connect together providing four, six, eight-person or larger pod sizes. Outdoor pods with device charging facilities via solar panel option are available. www.themeetingpod.co.uk

Back Modular Seating | Sellex Modular seating combinations are possible by using wooden finishes and paddings; linear compositions with others in a zig zag formation; or fully upholstered units with wooden strips. One of the peculiarities of Back Modular Seating is its eco-friendly recomposed oak wood shell, which comes from sustainably managed forests. www.sellex.es

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OVO Dining Table and Bench | Benchmark As part of the British Collection, Benchmark is introducing a collection with a really soft geometry and tactile warmth, designed in collaboration with Foster + Partners. Appropriate for both domestic and commercial spaces, the collection comprises two dining table variants, accompanying benches, sideboard, shelving unit, high table, stool and occasional tables. www.benchmarkfurniture.com

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Flex | Luctra Luctra offers a mobile lamp flexible enough to be used in lounges, meeting points or simply at home. Thanks to rechargeable battery technology, the Flex lamp provides complete usage freedom. It has a weight of just 2 kg, a battery capacity of up to 25 hours and the lamp head can rotate 180 degrees. Flex is available in orange, black, white and aluminium. www.luctra.eu

Calling

Inspired by Milan’s off-sites like Zona Tortona or Brera Design District, Clerkenwell is a design event success story built on London’s vibrant creative class. Clerkenwell Design Week’s nine-year history demonstrates the success of this particular formula in promoting a neighbourhood design district. Yet while Clerkenwell does not have the strong fundamentals of Milan’s Salone del Mobile events, London certainly does not lack any kind of dynamic traffic and attractions to support a design event without a proper co-located fair.

By Enrico G. Cleva

The three-day festival celebrates extraordinary British and international creativity housed across London’s historic Clerkenwell, hosting over 150 exhibitors including more than 100 permanent showrooms and six installations. Over 80 worldrenowned design brands have their showrooms in the area including Arper, Bolon, Bulthaup, Poltrona Frau Group, USM and Vitra to name just a few.

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Ondo | Casalis Architextiles Casalis’ newest textile collection in Trevira polyester designed by Aleksandra Gaca specifically for the contract market, Ondo provides visual, tactile and even acoustic solutions as it muffles and absorbs sound. The panels feature new geometric structures and dramatic contrasts in colour and finish. Three dimensional woven textiles available in 16 different colourways combine both craft and high-tech elements in a seamless process, using more sustainable materials.

Loop Footstool | Cane-line Loop is a modern and urban piece of furniture with a flexible use, either as a piece of art, a footstool, a coffee table or just for decoration. It is produced in rattan and comes in a black or natural version.

www.casalis.be

www.cane-line.com

WW Armrest chair | Hayche The WW Armchair Colour Series, created in collaboration with Brighton-based branding agency Studio Makgill, is a bold experimentation in colour, typical of the studio’s adventurous creative ethos and is available in a selection of six colour­ways. The concept and name refer to Windsor and Wire, a nod to the collection’s lines and materials. The armrests are a flowing continuation of the back’s metal bars, gently wrapping around both sides of the seat.

Nature | Titian Touch Titian Touch reimagines the light switch. Offering a range of touchplates in an array of materials, finishes and colours, the system is easy to install, suitable for wet areas and comes standard with a two-way memory dimmer. Each touchplate is customizable and the bean’s shape recalls natural patterns.

www.hayche.com

www.titiantouch.com

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seen Mr. Wattson | Nordium This handmade LED lamp with coffee-coloured ash wood body and vintage car-inspired headlight invites interaction. Whether put in a relaxed and laidback position with both legs on the table or you dangled cheerfully with his legs on a shelf edge, the flexible joints give Mr. Wattson a lot of personality.

Chrona | Graypants Mimicking the phosphorescent envelope found around stars, Chrona lights create a luminous glow by combining spun brass and diffused acrylic. With a variety of configurations in both horizontal and vertical orientations, the pendants can be clustered together to make constellations or individually hung to accentuate any space. Currently, all products in the Chrona series are available in either brass or stainless steel, with a spun or highly polished finish, and in diameters ranging from six to 17 inches.

https://nordium.uk

www.graypants.com

Nook | Nook Offering an oasis of calm in the noisy workspace or event environment, the carefully dimensioned roof and attention to acoustic materials makes Nook feel cozy and calm, while its openness and flexibility keep it inviting and welcoming. A Nook comes in many fabric colour options and includes power sockets, USB outlets, a task lamp at desk level and colour changeable overhead LED lighting in a 3-D printed lampshade. www.nookpod.com

Tropical Leaf | Lincrusta This collection was created combining current trends with themes from Lincrusta’s140-year history. A collaboration with wallpaper designer Karen Beauchamp, the calming Palm pattern features contemporary floral motifs both for commercial and residential stylish settings.

www.lincrusta.com

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“Ultra Luxury” 50 Scollard Launch Across the street from the Four Seasons Hotels flagship in Yorkville? You can’t get any more chi-chi than that. 50 Scollard, the name of the 41-storey condo soon to rise at that location, is, for the time being, the site of the sales centre and display suite, where the launch party was held. 1—Charles Khabouth, CEO of INK Entertainment, who has created many of the city’s trendiest clubs; and Alessandro Munge of Studio Munge, responsible for 50 Scollard’s interiors, in front of a model of the proposed project. 2—The project’s architect, James Barnes, partner at the New York office of Britain’s Foster+Partners; Amy Whitesides, studio director at the project’s landscape architect, Boston-based Stoss Landscape Urbanism; and Foster+Partners architect Michael Zang. 3—David Foxley, digital editor, Architectural Digest; and Aida Karimi, senior designer, project lead, Studio Munge. 4—Jonathan Diamond, principal at real estate operator Well Grounded Real Estate; and Ken Metrick, chairman, and his son Andrew, managing director, at home-furnishings retailer Elte. 5—50 Scollard co-investor Michael Lee-Chin, chairman and CEO of Portland Holdings and namesake patron of Daniel Libeskind’s controversial Deconstructivist addition to the Royal Ontario Museum; and 50 Scollard sales rep Kathleen Chapman.

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A New NEWH Party The Toronto chapter of the Hospitality Industry Network (NEWH) threw an “After Hours at Cheese Boutique!” party. It proved to be an evening that sated the most demanding foodie. Inside the mecca to fine-food shopping were stations offering Swiss raclette, burrata, smoked salmon, gelato and candy, cheese and charcuterie, oysters, Goose Island beer, Adamo Estates wine and more. 1—Dialog’s Julian Paulo Rodrigues and Alexandra Stoewner, interior designers; Luciano Silva, technologist; and Anthony Scarfone, interior designer at Arney Fender Katsalidis. 2—Urbanmode design concierges Sasha Wright and Libby Fraser flank owner and co-founder Myrlene Sundberg, whose furnishings store, which features Canadian talent, was the very first to carry Umbra products. 3—Cooling off inside the cheese cooler: Meghan Smith, market manager, Ontario at textile supplier Architex and NEWH new programming director; Afrim Pristine, Cheese Boutique owner and maître fromager; and Tara Witt, VP development at custom stainless-steel fabricator Tarrison and NEWH Toronto president. 4—Naji Mourani, senior team leader, figure3; Barbora Krsiakova, marketing manager, IDC Canada; Marwa Talal, designer, HOK; and Anahita Mokabbery, design consultant at Spanish tile supplier Porcelanosa’s Toronto showroom.

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Diamond Schmitt’s Evergreen Summer Solstice If it’s Summer Solstice, it’s the annual client-appreciation party of Diamond Schmitt Architects (DSA), which always draws an interesting cross-section of movers and shakers. The 33rd annual installment took place at Evergreen Brick Works. 1—DSA partners Donald Schmitt and Jack Diamond, wearing his Order of Canada pin. 2—Krister Holmes, architect, DSA; Antoni Wisniowski, president, business development, Municipal Property Assessment Corporation; Judith Martin, architect, DSA; and Antoni’s brother Andrew, project director at Ottawa’s National Arts Centre, which DSA recently renovated. 3—Melony Ward, publisher, Canada’s History Society; former anchor for CBC TV’s late, lamented This Week in Parliament Don Newman, senior counsel at political PR firm, Navigator, wearing his Order of Canada pin; and DSA associate Sarah Low. 4—Hugo Flammin, architectural designer, and Bryan Chartier, interior design director, DSA. 5—Liviu Budur, associate and Michael Leckman, principal, DSA.

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Nienkämper’s 50th Many of the brightest stars in the Toronto A&D firmament glittered at Nienkämper’s golden jubilee party, held across the street from Nienkämper’s King Street East showroom, on the 17th-floor party room of the Globe and Mail Centre. On the lineup for Klaus’s book signing, Stella McTernan, of her eponymous interior design firm, reminisced about her days as a junior designer at Rice Brydone while specifying furniture for Petrocan headquarters in Calgary (now the Suncor Centre), completed in 1984. “The client asked why so much furniture was being ordered from just one firm, a Toronto company called Nienkämper,” McTernan recalled. She replied, “Because they make the best furniture”—and they still do.

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1—Klaus Nienkämper Jr., president of the Klaus by Nienkämper retail store on King Street East, with his six-year-old twins, Otto and Oliver. 2—Toronto-born design superstar Karim Rashid, wearing his trademark whites, and Klaus Nienkämper raise a toast after giving brief speeches. 3—Kevin Karst, creator of Nienkämper’s Karst side-table series and designer and builder of custom cabinetry and furniture; and his wife, Gal Vanstone, associate professor and coordinator, Culture and Expression, York University; flank furniture design development consultant Tom David of Ekte-Stil (“True Style” in Norwegian), who managed Nienkämper’s seating division from 2005 to 2015; and David’s wife, Julie, payroll admin at retail installations manufacturer Somerville. 4—Pirkko Shalden, president of her eponymous HR consultancy and widow of Dean Shalden, the former long-time Canadian Interiors editor and side-table designer for Nienkämper; and Tracy Bowie, the recently retired former czarina of IIDEX, now a consultant to Interior Designers of Canada. 5—From interior design firm Bullock+Wood Design: Donna Wood, president; Paula Santos, director, marketing and admin; Angela Kisielewski, project designer; Jacquie Claassen, design director; and Zinnia Bookwala, project designer. 6—Angie Fletcher, acrylic artist, and her industrial designer husband, Lee. He and mechanical engineer Terry Woodside are partners at industrial design firm Fig40, designers of the Best of Canada Award-winning Perplex Bench (which Nienkämper now carries). 7—Beatrix Nienkämper, wife of Klaus, who was proprietor of the family leather accessories boutique on Davenport Road back in the day, flanked by their daughters Rebecca and Ottilie, who handle the family firm’s media relations and marketing, respectively. 8—Canadian Interiors editor Peter Sobchak with Klaus at the book-signing table, where each Nienkämper-branded goodie bag held a copy, hot off the press, of Nienkämper: 50 Years of Excellence from Design to Delivery.

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DesignAgency’s 20th Anniversary Block Party DesignAgency (DA), nee the Design Agency, greeted the start of its third decade at its annual August block party. This time it was held not in their west-end Toronto offices, but nearby in the parking area behind the venerable and soon-to-gentrify Palace Arms Hotel, with DA on the building team.

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1—Andrea Hayman, showroom manager, Lightform; and interior decorator Christine Gairdner. 2—DA founding partners Anwar Mekhayech, Matthew Davis and Allen Chan. 3—Jane Son, director, Casson Hardware Specialties, holding a DA 20thanniversary-labeled can of beer from Mascot Brewery; and Tommy Matejka of tommytheartist.com, whose photography adorns DA condo display centres. 4—Jordan Herald, co-CEO of branding agency Gravity Partners; his wife Lara, landscape designer with the City of Toronto; Thanos Tripi, owner of the DA-designed Mamakas Taverna on Ossington Avenue. 5—Luciano Lorenzatti, Sheridan College prof and creative director at Empex Watertoys; Ashley Warboys, product application specialist, Teknion; Jane Henderson, sales director, Studio TK; and Janet Stone, sales and business development director at the Toronto branch of home-furnishings store Avenue Road. 6—Roy Zandboer, project designer, DA; Jenny Lang, intern designer, II By IV Design; DA’s Emily Yoon, intermediate designer; and Emily Schorn, project designer. 7—Khalil Jamal, whose eponymous industrial design firm has created a mural for the Pan Am Games and wallpaper for Rollout; and Design Exchange programs director Nina Boccia.

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9/10 2018 CANADIAN INTERIORS


Ben Rahn / A-Frame Studio

over & out

Smelling the Future

A new interpretation of the ubiquitous perfume stall shows not every retail entity can be redirected to the internet.

By Peter Sobchak

to browse “scent palates.” When one is selected, a corresponding fragrance inhaler bottle with RFID readers placed on a backlit solid surface illuminates, providing all pertinent information on the selected fragrance, digitally displayed on the screen. These fragrance inhaler bottles are filled with scented crystals that patrons can smell without the annoying need of being physically spritzed by a tester.

A walk through any mall or department store in North America is typically characterized by several habitual experiences, including the routine assault of the olfactory organ by perfume stalls. But in fairness, how do you promote a product designed entirely around that most intangible of senses: scent? The answer for Toronto-based dkstudio Architects was to tap into what their target market — millennials — seem to love the most: an interactive experience aided by cool digital technology.

Behind the 22-foot long bar, a series of 10-foot tall black digital towers create a virtual backdrop to the scent lounge. The slim towers stand physically separate from each other, and form multiple duties as support structures for the canopy, provide shelving for product, and animate the environment with digital branding messages: another move to attract the hyper-digitized clientele being targeted.

Fūme Scent Lounge, a shop-in-a-shop-in-a-mall located in the Hudson’s Bay at Toronto’s tony Yorkdale Shopping Centre, succeeds admirably in making the invisible visible. The sensual, non-linear movements of a spray of fragrance are expressed through curves and spirals that twist and wisp around each other, revealing “the fractal movement of mists of perfume,” say the architects. “These forms morph into a canopy that twists and spirals as it rises from the floor and swirls high above and around the perimeter of the lounge.” Eschewing traditional kiosks displaying bottles and spray testers, at Fūme patrons use interactive screens and digital “Fragrance Finders” CANADIAN INTERIORS 9/10 2018

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Conceived as a global pilot project for multi-national beauty company Coty, and executed with the help of Eventscape and Icon Digital, it will be interesting to see how successful this technology-laden experiment is in fusing digital sensibilities with a sense that seems the most tech-adverse. But since you can’t “smell” what you are going to buy online, this might be the perfect middle-ground.


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Canadian Interiors September October 2018  

Canadian Interiors is Canada’s leading magazine targeted at interior design professionals. Since its launch in 1964, the magazine is a must...

Canadian Interiors September October 2018  

Canadian Interiors is Canada’s leading magazine targeted at interior design professionals. Since its launch in 1964, the magazine is a must...