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    Large fireplaces bookend Evangeline rooftop bar at Ace Hotel Toronto

    The rooftop bar and lounge at the recently opened Ace Hotel Toronto, by local studio Shim-Sutcliffe Architects, continues the earthy tones and exposed concrete from the lobby.

    Named Evangeline, the 80-seat bar overlooks Toronto from the 14th floor of the new building by Shim-Sutcliffe Architects, with interiors by Atelier Ace – the hospitality group’s in-house design team.
    Custom ceramic tiles by David Umemoto flank one of two fireplaces in the Evangeline lounge”With energy swinging from sunset cooldowns to late night revelry, Evangeline celebrates creativity through a keen eye for curation — drinks, bites, sounds and sights,” said a statement from Ace Hotel.
    “Its name is an ode to the first feature film out of Canada and its atmosphere influenced by the creative spark of the silver screen.”
    The bar and lounge is located on the 14th floor of the Ace Hotel TorontoServing craft cocktails and small plates by chef Patrick Kriss, the bar comprises a cosy indoor space and an outdoor terrace, divided by a fully glazed wall.

    The plant-filled patio faces south and west, enjoying views of Downtown Toronto and capitalising on sunset vistas.
    The space features various seating areas, patterned rugs and plenty of plants”A lush display of plants moves from indoors to outdoors, where the furnishings adopt a more casual, contemporary tone,” said the Ace Hotel team.
    The indoor space features tall ceilings and is bookended by large fireplaces – one of which is flanked by sculptural ceramic tiles by Montreal-based artist David Umemoto.

    Ace Hotel Toronto by Shim-Sutcliffe Architects features a suspended lobby

    Continuing the earthy colour palette from the hotel’s lobby, various seating options in the bar feature sage green and pale terracotta cushions, and the tables are mostly wood.
    A row of thick, board-marked concrete columns along one side of the room creates smaller seating nooks in between and delineates the lounge from the bar service area.
    The interiors by Atelier Ace continue the earthy tones from the hotel’s lobbyVintage-style patterned rugs cover the tiled floor, while light fixtures were custom-designed for the space by Toronto studio MSDS.
    Evangeline opened to the public on 21 October 2022, following the hotel’s debut in July.
    The outdoor patio faces south and west to overlook Downtown TorontoThe programming team plans to host a roster of events hosted by DJs, record labels and party producers, as well as a rotating series of artwork by Canadian talent.
    This is the hotel group’s 10th property, joining locations including Sydney, Brooklyn, Kyoto and New Orleans.
    The photography is by William Jess Laird.

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    Ivy Studio renovates fire-damaged Piatti restaurant in Montreal

    Dark green marble, glossy black tiles and sculptural lighting contrast the rough stone walls of this Montreal restaurant that has been resurrected by local Ivy Studio.

    Located in Rosemère, on Montreal’s north bank, Piatti opened 15 years ago in an old stone building that was previously extended to accommodate a larger commercial space.
    A pizza oven wrapped in green marble forms a focal point at PiattiAfter a fire ripped through the Italian restaurant over a year ago, damaging the roof and the interior, the owners chose to renovate and update the space.
    “From this tragedy rose the opportunity to give the space a much-needed facelift,” said the Ivy Studio team, who took on the project.
    Entrance to the kitchen is through an arch set into a pistachio-coloured wall”While the overall aesthetic is very contemporary, the decor was inspired by traditional Italian design and includes textures, materials and colours that project clients directly to the Mediterranean,” the studio added.

    The two-storey building is entered on the lower level, where the preparation kitchen, a private event room and the washrooms are situated.
    A sienna-toned banquette is installed beneath a mirrored wallUpstairs are the dining areas, each with a distinct atmosphere. When entering past courses of glossy black tiles, customers are met by a “monumental” pizza oven wrapped in green Saint-Denis marble.
    A black stained-wood and marble structure in front acts as a dining and service area, across from a hand-plastered pistachio wall with an arch that leads to the closed kitchen.
    The bar area is located in the old stone buildingAbove a sienna-toned velvet banquette, a mirrored wall helps to make the dining space feel larger – reflecting its cream walls and sheer curtains.
    Bistro chairs with green seats and caned backs are placed around tables.
    Lighting and stools were custom designed for the barA circular wood-topped table sits on zig-zag black and white tiles below a central bespoke chandelier.
    The bar occupies the old stone aspect of the building. Here, a U-shaped counter is clad with vertical oak boards and topped with a four-inch-thick travertine slab.

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    Custom stools made from velvet, steel and wood are lined up against the bar, colour-matching the banquette upholstery in the dining room.
    Minimal, custom cream-painted lamps are spaced along the length of the counter, while a steel structure suspended above holds bottles behind fritted glass panels.
    A pendant light hangs above a table in the corner of the bar area”The entire room has recessed lighting going around the ceiling to properly highlight the original stone walls in the evening,” said Ivy Studio.
    Montreal is home to a wealth of Italian restaurants with notable interiors, several of which have opened over the last few years.
    Ivy Studio based the contemporary decor on traditional Italian designThey include pizza spot Vesta and Tiramisu at the city’s Hilton hotel – both designed by Ménard Dworkind.
    Among Ivy Studio’s other hospitality projects in the Quebec capital is Jack Rose, an eatery in a former auto body shop.
    The photography is by Alex Lesage.
    Project credits:
    Team: Gabrielle Rousseau, David Kirouac, Guillaume B Riel, Philip StaszewskiConstruction: Groupe Firco

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    Hariri Pontarini rethinks cold medical interiors at Barlo MS Centre

    Canadian architecture studio Hariri Pontarini has completed a clinic in Toronto for multiple sclerosis patients that features warm wood tones and spaces designed to feel like “first-class airplane lounges”.

    The Barlo MS Centre is Canada’s largest clinic dedicated to those with MS, a complex autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system.
    The BARLO MS Centre was designed with atypical colours, materials, textures and lightingNamed after its two biggest donors, the Barford and Love families, the centre occupies the top two floors of a new 17-storey tower at St Michael’s Hospital in Downtown Toronto.
    The 30,000-square-foot (2,790-square-metre) facility was designed by local studio Hariri Pontarini Architects, which aimed to rethink sterile-looking healthcare spaces and focus on patient wellbeing through the use of atypical colours, materials, textures and lighting.
    The clinic’s two storeys are connected by a staircase that rises through an atrium”Canadians are particularly prone to MS for reasons that are unclear,” said the studio.

    “This hospital’s mission is nothing less than to transform MS care and become the world’s leading MS centre through research and clinical treatment.”
    Circular consultation rooms are partially clad in walnutTaking cues from the hospitality industry, the team aimed to create a “comfortable and welcoming environment” by filling the spaces with daylight and offering views of the skyline.
    The two floors are connected by a double-height atrium, topped with an oculus that allows more natural light in from above.
    The wavy panels conceal the rooms from the main circulation corridorA staircase rises up through the atrium, curving towards the top with a glass balustrade to follow the shape of the opening.
    Downstairs, the atrium connects to a lounge at the corner of the building and a reception area anchored by a curved white counter.
    Infusion pods are given privacy by pale wood screensA wide corridor leads past a series of cylindrical consultation rooms that are partially glazed, but screened where they face the circulation area by wavy walnut panels.
    On the other side of the floor plan, smaller and more open consultation booths named infusion pods are still offered privacy with curved pale wood screens.
    Different varieties of wood give the interiors a warm tone”The infusion pods where patients may sit for up to eight hours are modelled to resemble a first-class airplane lounge and provide complete control over their environment,” the Hariri Pontarini team said.
    Various light-toned woods are used for wall panels and balustrades, as well as thin slats that extend across the ceilings.
    The atrium connects to a lounge and waiting areaAll spaces were designed with durability and accessibility in mind, considering that some MS patients have vision and cognitive loss, fatigue and impaired coordination.
    Bronze-coloured handrails were installed along the majority of walls and partitions, while anti-slip porcelain tiles cover the floors to aid patient mobility.

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    The centre also includes a gym, a mock apartment adapted for MS patients, and rooms for meetings, research and administration.
    Together, it provides patients with a space to see a dedicated healthcare team in one location and clinicians the state-of-the-art resources to offer the best possible treatment.
    An oculus above the atrium brings daylight into the centre of the buildingHariri Pontarini Architects was founded by Siamak Hariri and David Pontarini in 1994.
    One of the studio’s most recognisable buildings is the Bahá’í temple in Chile, featuring torqued wings made of steel and glass, while its work closer to home includes the glass-wrapped Tom Patterson Theatre in Stratford, Ontario.
    Handrails are provided throughout the clinic to aid patient mobilityThe Bar MS Centre is one of five projects shortlisted in the Leisure and Wellness Interior category of the Dezeen Awards 2022, along with a Shenzhen cinema and a spa in the Maldives.
    See the full Interiors shortlist and vote now for your favourites.
    The photography is by A-Frame.

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    Victorian balusters pattern surfaces at Aesop Yorkville store by Odami

    The history of Toronto’s Yorkville neighbourhood informed this store for skincare brand Aesop, which local studio Odami has given ruby-toned walls and smooth beige counters.

    Odami, a design studio based several blocks west of the Aesop Yorkville shop, used features typical of the area as a starting point for elements of the design.
    Aesop’s third store in Toronto includes a “fragrance library” for testing the brand’s new aromas”The interior takes inspiration from the downtown area’s architectural and societal history – starting with the Victorian houses that populate the district, and the lanes and squares where communities have gathered over the decades,” said a statement from the brand.
    The profile of balusters found across nearby buildings and porches is translated as a closely repeated pattern that forms maple wainscoting around the interior.
    The profile of a Victorian baluster forms wainscoting around the storeWalls and ceiling are painted oxblood red, creating a dusky and intimate atmosphere inside the compact space.

    “The design is anchored by a sense of warmth, and sees traditional materials imagined anew,” said Aesop. “The geometry is akin to that of a bustling town square: a large and open space with smaller enclaves around its perimeter.”
    Walls, ceilings and furniture are coloured ruby red, while counters and sinks are beigeSeating and counters that are coloured to match the walls blend into the background, while units that have sinks for testing skin and hair products stand out in pale beige.
    The largest basin is positioned in the centre of the store, incorporating three faucets and doubling as a tea station.
    The wall colour creates an intimate atmosphere, while allowing the signature Aesop bottles to stand outA slender, metal light fixture is suspended horizontally above, directing light from a trio of tubes down onto the central counter.
    Three pale-toned cylinders set into the back wall form a “fragrance library” for the brand’s growing collection of aromas.

    MSDS Studio illuminates Aesop store in Toronto with collection of compact lamps

    Two tubes display the signature Aesop bottles, while the third has a clear front and acts as an infusion chamber for items of clothing.
    Odami was founded in 2017 by Spanish architect Aránzazu González Bernardo and Canadian designer Michael Fohring, and has completed several interiors in its base city.
    The central countertop includes a long sink and also doubles as a tea stationThey include the Sara restaurant, where a roughly plastered wall curves over the dining area, and a renovated 1980s apartment with a green-painted sunroom.
    This is the third Aesop location in Toronto, following a store designed by MSDS on Queen Street West, and another in the Downtown district.
    The history of the store’s Yorkville location provided references for its designThe brand regularly collaborates with local architects and designers on its store interiors around the world.
    Among the most recent are an outpost in Tokyo by Case-Real that features coarse plaster walls, and another in London by Al-Jawad Pike that’s filled with red sandstone from Scotland.
    The photography is by John Alunan

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    Muted material palette defines monochrome Chinese restaurant by StudioAC

    Canadian firm StudioAC combined micro cement, stainless steel and vinyl to form the interiors of a Chinese restaurant in Ontario designed to “respond to the context of the strip mall” in which it is located.

    Called Bao, the restaurant is located in the city of Markham, Ontario. It is positioned between a convenience store and a pharmacy along a strip of suburban shops.
    Bao is positioned along a strip of suburban shopsStudioAC’s aim was to create an interior that would provide an efficient dining experience as well as easy takeaway and delivery access, while also promoting Bao’s distinctive visual style.
    To do so, the studio arranged the interior around two angled tangent lines drawn from large street-facing windows to an open kitchen positioned at the back of the restaurant.
    StudioAC designed the eatery with monochrome interiors”These lines skew the visual perspective into the store to dramatise food preparation,” StudioAC told Dezeen.

    While Bao’s interior design stands out from the traditional shops that flank it, the restaurant’s facade was kept deliberately simple to blend into its suburban environment.
    Tables and seating were created in microcement”On the one hand, the project embraces the banal nature of the strip mall as we haven’t really done anything to the exterior,” explained the designers.
    “But on the other hand, the project’s interior responds to the context of the strip mall by introducing a unique visual terminus along an otherwise mundane facade made up of repetitive box stores.”

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    StudioAC chose to use a minimal palette of three materials throughout the monochrome interior design to let the restaurant’s statement layout speak for itself.
    Rectilinear grey microcement tables, benches and stools are positioned on each side of the restaurant, while the open kitchen was finished in stainless steel that was chosen for its striking reflective design as well as its durability.
    Two tangent lines were drawn from the windows to the open kitchenAbove the seating, the team built chunky bulkheads that are positioned parallel to one another. Below these hang contrastingly delicate banners made from vinyl vertical blinds, which were designed in a nod to traditional Chinese lanterns.
    Chosen as a material partly for their cost-effectiveness, the backlit blinds also aim to introduce “moments of softness and intimacy” to the otherwise harsh and muted interiors.
    “We considered all of the furniture as part of the architecture,” explained the designers, who created the custom tables and seating for the project.
    Vinyl backlit “banners” create playful lightingStudioAC has completed numerous other interior designs that are led by a minimalist approach. These include a Toronto house with a pair of timber-clad bedrooms and a luxury cannabis dispensery with faceted walls.
    The photography is by Jeremie Warshafsky Photography.

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    Studio Paolo Ferrari combines wood and granite for Canadian lake house

    Exposed finishes that draw cues from the forests and geology of Canada come together in this remote holiday home by Toronto-based architect Studio Paolo Ferrari.

    Named after the Muskoka region where the project is located, the retreat overlooks Lake Rosseau, an area that is known as one of Canada’s most sought-after vacation destinations.
    The retreat overlooks Canada’s Lake RosseauThe area sits roughly two hours north of Toronto, and is known for its natural setting. It inspired a collective of painters, known as the Group of Seven, who produced some of the most iconic Canadian imagery of the early 20th century.
    “We wanted to create a place of respite from the intensity of city life and also to build as sensitively as we could, complementing, but never overwhelming, the surrounding environment,” said Studio Paolo Ferrari.
    Granite and Douglas fir define the interior designTwo primary materials were used for the two-storey building: granite, which forms many of the islands in the area, and Douglas fir, which the architects used in the exposed roofs found throughout the home, as well as in cabinetry and on certain walls.

    “The granite is coarse-grained and hard,” said the studio. “It references the minerality of the site and imbues the interiors with a sense of ruggedness.”
    “The Douglas fir offers tactility and warmth, and it connects the house with vernacular building traditions,” the studio added, noting that some of the materials used came from the site itself.
    Studio Paolo Ferrari placed the communal areas on the upper floorStudio Paolo Ferrari designed an inverted layout for the two-bedroom home, placing the communal areas on the upper floor to give them the best views of Lake Rosseau.
    The open-concept kitchen, living, and dining room is anchored by a granite kitchen counter that appears to be made of a rough block of stone. Its edges cantilever out, creating a place to sit for a casual meal.
    Two bedrooms feature on the ground floor”The kitchen island – a large, unfinished block of granite – evokes the boulders and outcroppings one sees across the Canadian Shield, an expanse of bedrock that extends from the Great Lakes to the Arctic Coast,” said Studio Paolo Ferrari.
    “With its size and monumentality, the island offsets the expertly crafted cabinetry that surrounds it.”
    A granite island takes centre stage in the kitchenThe living room is fronted by tall, sliding glass doors that open onto a terrace that offers sweeping views of the lake below.
    Most of the surfaces are covered in a light-coloured wood, which helps the space feel airy and bright.

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    The bedrooms were located on the ground floor. The primary suite faces out onto the lake, while a guest bedroom is located at the back of the home. Its windows open out onto rocky outcroppings and thick trees, lending the space a sense of privacy.
    “Windows frame views in all directions, not only outward to the lake but also inward to the granite escarpment, which is every bit as exquisite as the dappled water,” added the studio.
    Furnishings were kept simple throughout the homeThe home’s bathrooms were finished in dark granite, creating a sense of contrast from the bright open spaces in the bedrooms and communal areas.
    Throughout the home, the furnishings were kept as simple as possible.
    “Our guiding ethos was warm minimalism,” Studio Paolo Ferrari explained. “The interiors derive their elegance from a lack of visual clutter.”
    The lake house includes a gabled roofOther natural retreats in Canada include a dramatic, cantilevered structure overlooking a lake, and a ski cottage that appears to have been split in two, by Montreal-based firm Naturehumaine.
    The photography is by Joel Esposito.

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    Leckie Studio imitates stalactite formations inside Vancouver's AER Skinlab

    Quarries and caves served as visual references for this marble-lined skincare clinic in Vancouver, Canada, designed by local firm Leckie Studio.

    Set on the ground level of Vancouver’s Waterfall Building, AER Skinlab offers a selection of cosmetic injections and laser treatments.
    Walls throughout the AER Skinlab clinic in Vancouver are lined with grey marbleLeckie Studio wanted to create a calm, grounding interior for the clinic to make it look as if it was “excavated from the stillness of rock”.
    The studio’s key reference point for this aesthetic was a series of photographs by Canadian artist Edward Burtynsky, which captures the dramatic topography of quarries around the world.
    In homage, the clinic’s service desk and almost all of its walls were clad with vast panels of grey marble sourced from nearby Vancouver Island. Each slab was given a subtle striated finish to emulate the irregular surface texture of stone.

    The marble was striated to emulate the uneven surface texture of stoneSimilar striations were made on AER Skinlab’s glass facade, obscuring the interior from passersby to preserve patients’ privacy.
    Crowning the clinic’s reception area is a striking ceiling installation that was produced by Leckie Studio in collaboration with local art and design practice Tangible Interaction.
    It consists of strips of Tyvek, a type of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) fabric, which are hung at different lengths. Clustered together, these resemble pointed mineral formations called stalactites that are created when water drips through a cave ceiling.
    Leckie Studio and Tangible Interaction created a hanging installation for the clinic”The ceiling installation was very ambitious from both a design detailing and installation perspective,” Leckie Studio told Dezeen.
    “We prioritised the experiential aspect while also ensuring compliance with local building codes, life safety, HVAC [heating, ventilation and air conditioning] and lighting performance.”
    Consultation and treatment rooms are simply finishedOne of the walls in the clinic’s reception is punctuated with a narrow niche, where AER Skinlab displays its line of skincare products.
    An arched corridor leads through to a consultation area and a trio of treatment rooms that were finished with pale plaster walls and grey soft furnishings to complement the rest of the interior scheme.
    The clinic’s striated glass facade was designed to preserve patients’ privacyLeckie Studio has completed a number of projects around its hometown of Vancouver. Among them is Courtyard House, a family home that contains only the most essential living spaces.
    The studio also designed the Vancouver office of Slack Technologies – the company behind workplace messaging system Slack – which occupies a former warehouse.
    The photography is by Ema Peter.
    Project credits:
    Design: Leckie StudioCeiling installation: Tanglible InteractionBrand identity: Glasfurd & Walker

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    Tutu lights populate Montreal's Cafe Constance by Atelier Zébulon Perron

    Pink pendant lights resembling dancers’ skirts hang from the ceiling of this cafe by Atelier Zébulon Perron at a Montreal ballet school.

    Cafe Constance is located in the downtown Wilder Building, home to Les Grands Ballets Canadiens and named in tribute one of the organisation’s former leaders, Constance Pathy.
    Cafe Constance was designed as a theatrical experience within the contemporary building’s lobbyThe 1,400-square-foot (130-square-metre) space occupies the contemporary building’s lobby. It is used both for social gatherings for the artists and employees, and as a reception venue during and after functions or performances.
    “Maintaining apropos ambiances through the space’s transitions from coffee shop by day, to more cocktail-oriented functions in the evening influenced Atelier Zébulon Perron’s design philosophy,” said the design studio in a statement.
    A canopy above the bar and pendant lights help to create a more intimate scale”But the main focus was on creating something truly warm and whimsical in the heart of a contemporary institutional building,” the team added.

    In contrast to the large expanses of glazing and concrete finishes of the building, Atelier Zébulon Perron opted for rich materials like walnut, velvet and brass. Wooden screens wrap the cafe, partially shielding it from view while creating intrigue for patrons and passersby.
    Wooden screens wrap the seating area to create intrigue”We adopted a theatrical approach in order to build a sort of spectacle that is really quite literal,” said studio founder Zébulon Perron.
    “The idea was to create something that seems completely out of place, and that captivates the imagination in a strange and wonderful way,” he said.
    Materials like walnut and brass were chosen to contrast the concrete interiorA canopy above the bar area helps to bring the tall ceilings down to a more human scale.
    Similarly, a series of pleated pendants are gracefully suspended from thin wires above the seating area, at a height that helps create a more intimate setting.

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    These custom-designed lamps, each a slightly different shape, are made from the same blush-toned crinoline fabric as a dancer’s tutu.
    Floral-patterned wallpaper, upholstery and carpets, as well as golden lamps topped with tasseled shades, create the impression of a staged scene from another era.
    Details like wallpaper, upholstery and lighting add drama to the space”The tongue-in-cheek approach to Cafe Constance aimed at creating a fun and fantastical space within the more austere backdrop of the building’s contemporary architecture,” Perron said.
    “That play on contrasts extends to the design within the space as well, with hints of Victorian elements and boudoir intimacy animated by intricate colours, patterns and light fixtures.”
    Lamps were custom designed from crinoline fabric used to make tutusThe designer founded the eponymous interiors studio in 2008, and has also completed a restaurant at Montreal’s Four Seasons hotel.
    Other recently completed hospitality interiors in the city include the plant- and mirror-filled Tiramisu by Menard Dworkind, and La Firme’s bright and airy Melk Cafe.
    The photography is by Alex Lesage.

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