Eat…Work…Play – A hybrid lounge experience

Eat…Work…Play – A hybrid lounge experience

Located on the busy PATH thoroughfare in downtown Toronto, ‘The York’ is an enticing hybrid space that introduces new opportunities for the young, hip clientele to get away from the office to refresh, meet, and socialise in a vibe that is more ‘private club’ than a food court.

Interior Designer: Stella McTernan, ARIDO

Design Team: Mallory Creed, ARIDO

Design Firm: McTernan Design Associates

Photographer: A-Frame 

Club chairs by the window, anchored by large organic globes as pendants

Initially, this oblong nook was considered an enticement as part of the lease of the adjacent space to a take-out restaurant, but in analysing its separate location from the larger food court and the unique opportunity for access the building’s urban park, an enhanced design program for the space began to emerge.

Going back to the drawing board, led us to reflect on the value of the space to a professional tenant group. Two particular purposes emerged – co-working space and event venue.

The long almost S-shaped footprint provides the opportunity for two separate zones of activity. Facing onto the PATH and directly adjacent to the restaurant is a wide and open space with an unobstructed view of the park. 

Tucked around the corner is a long room that becomes a haven from the  hustle and bustle of the main food court, calming views of natural elements and access to outdoor park side seating. The tunnel-like length provides several seating zones, alternating low lounge seating with high barrel backed chairs affording spaces for groups looking to connect and those who need some focused quiet time, respectively. Large lustrous organic globes of light anchor a cluster of club chairs at the window and continue as a spatial organiser in this space. A combination of tablet arms and convenience ledges provide space for food, beverage, and devices.

Tunnel like long seating area by the windows looking onto the patio.

Since there is more inclination to purchase take-out food if there is a seating opportunity close by, this opportunity was part of the business case for the adjacent food provider. The front room takes the form of a more typical food court setting with a combination of café type tables and longer community tables including a high top and a dining table.

Outdoor seating is also visible and easily accessible from the PATH. What immediately distinguishes ‘The York’ and puts it on the map as venue or co-working space is

the use of luxe  materials and significant access to tech connectivity through wifi, power ports, and USB ports in every location. 

Tables and chairs provided for either work and collaboration or eating, with plenty of seating spaces

Wall finishes include raw concrete, refined back painted glass, and colourful acoustic tiles. The leafy disorder created by the plants throughout creates a relaxed atmosphere while also providing sitting-height privacy.

Aptly named ‘the YORK,’ this elegant work lounge is a very popular daytime destination and now has the potential for a nightlife too. For tenants needing a convenient after hour event venue, the YORK provides space for mingling, relaxing, and chatting and a patio for enjoying the outdoors. The café tables can be removed or reorganised to create gathering space, lights can be dimmed and the space is equipped for DJ connectivity.

Stella McTernan

More from this author

Stella McTernan