Inspiration was locally-sourced for this luxurious downtown Toronto condominium

Situated at the intersection of Toronto’s landmark financial and heritage St. Lawrence Market districts, 88 Scott was an opportunity to create a standout, luxury downtown residence. 

Interior Designer: Kelly Cray, ARIDO

Design Team: Neil Jonsohn, ARIDO; Christianne Barbuto, Intern, ARIDO

Design Firm: U31

Photographer: Jac Jacobson

Standing proud at 58-storeys, this condominium is anything but meek. The towering neoclassical-style structure demanded an interior as impressive as its presence at the corner of Scott and Wellington. The design was largely guided by our client’s directive to take a ‘Canadian Moderne’ approach which involved looking to Canada’s natural landscape for inspiration. The result is an urban oasis that’s rooted in references to nature. 

The experience begins in the 1,500 square foot hotel-style lobby where dark and light coexist to create a dramatic statement. We established a warm and engaging entrance by combining textured and polished stone backgrounds with walnut-paneled walls and screens. Guests are welcomed by Euro-inspired seating that encourages lounging and a double-sided “Ocean Black” slate fireplace that provides a cozy spot for escaping the cold. The fireplace serves as the focal point of the space and overall, contributes to the grand, sophisticated flavour of the lobby.

With the executive demographic target purchaser in mind, we designed a 1,800 square foot business area adjacent to the lobby. This zone contains private workstations, a boardroom, and a lounge for the convenience of residents.

An extensive amenity program was the key to cultivating a luxury lifestyle for 88 Scott’s residents. The amenities are located across the building’s sixth and 46th and 47th split levels (spanning 10,400 square feet total) and include everything from wellness-oriented offerings to entertainment-geared experiences. The sixth floor consists of a fitness centre and a social area featuring a sophisticated party room complete with a kitchen and bar. Unique art pieces animate key areas of the party room: a geometric wood ‘stack’ installation emphasizes the grand fireplace while hand-crafted coffee tables complement lounge seating arrangements.

In the 46th and 47th split level ‘Sky Lounge’ and private dining room, we created a vibrant urban atmosphere by incorporating large windows that frame views of Toronto. By day, the space is bright and airy, while by night, a moodier atmosphere emerges as skyscrapers and Lake Ontario glimmer in the distance. The ‘Sky Lounge’ interior features a combination of raw textures (seen in the wood floors and stone fireplace surround) against more glamorous, fabricated finishes (seen in the mirrored ceiling and lush upholstery fabrics). 

One of the main challenges of designing 88 Scott was delivering a high-end yet cost-effective result. For instance, the lobby chandelier, which was originally quoted from a European manufacturer, had to be substituted by a local supplier to accommodate budgetary constraints. Fortunately, the final result achieved the sumptuousness we had envisioned. 

Challenges continued as the building’s heritage designation required us to leave architectural elements, like windows, untouched. Since we couldn’t alter the imperfect window openings and sill heights, we added white sheer drapery throughout the lobby to disguise the irregularities. 

Since the project’s completion, residents have been taking full advantage of the condominium’s many offerings. The building’s lobby is much more than a spot to wait for an Uber: residents regularly spend time in this space catching up on emails and meeting up with friends before they head out on the town.

This project was awarded an ARIDO Award of Merit in 2019.

ARIDO’s Statement on Black History Month

ARIDO has recognized that throughout our tenure, we have failed to embrace the contributions of Black communities and the importance of the month of February-as Black History Month in Canada. We are committed to progressive change and doing better.

We have begun the work in identifying key areas of improvement that we can make as an organization to represent, engage and partner with Black communities and the many diverse communities we serve. Our first step is to acknowledge that the celebration of Black History should not be limited to 28 days, but must be celebrated 365 days a year.

We will hold a town hall conversation- The Power of Colour: Being Black in Design later this Spring. We are reaching out to the membership with an open call inviting those members who have an interest in participating in this panel, to do so.

As we ramp up our dive into areas of change, we encourage our members to join the conversation and the journey.

Your Renewal Questions Answered

The ARIDO membership renewal deadline of March 31st, 2021 is fast approaching.

If you don’t need assistance, you’re encouraged to renew before the deadline. Click the link below to renew your membership via the Membership Gateway. Renewals are processed online and should take 15 minutes of your time.

Q: What are my options if I have lost my job?

A: For many members, renewing with the monthly payment option has been helpful for them to maintain membership in good standing by spreading the cost throughout the year. You still have until the current deadline of March 31st to renew. If you expect to be able to return to work in the short term, you can wait until closer to the deadline to decide on what you need to do.

You may be eligible to apply for a partial subsidy of your membership dues (up to 25%) if you are experiencing financial hardship due to COVID and you have not received government support in 2020. The deadline to apply is February 26th and you can request an application by emailing: membership@arido.ca.

Q: What if I am on maternity/paternity leave, dealing with a debilitating illness or injury, or returning to school full-time in 2021?

A: You can submit an application for Inactive status online through the Membership Gateway along with supporting documentation to have your membership dues reduced by 50% while you are unable to work for any of these reasons.

Q: What if I am ready to retire completely from practicing Interior Design?

A: Registered members who retire completely from practicing Interior Design can maintain Retired membership status at a significantly reduced cost. If this applies to you, submit the online application for Retired Membership through the Membership Gateway. Members who maintain membership in good standing for over 30 years are also eligible for Life membership status upon full retirement from the practice of Interior Design.

We don’t want to see your membership lapse, so please contact ARIDO to discuss your options if you need help with renewing your membership.

Contact us at info@arido.ca

A desert oasis in Scottsdale

This private residence is situated on prime five-acre property in one of Scottsdale’s premier desert estate communities. Surrounded by mountains to the north, east and west, and vast views of central Scottsdale and Phoenix to the south, the original home was one of the earliest built in this heavily architecturally-controlled community.

Interior Designer: Wayne Swadron, ARIDO
Design Firm: Wayne Swadron Interiors Limited
Project Photographer: Roehner + Ryan

The home’s architectural styling was ‘Tuscan’ in character, although the interior finishes had been updated just prior to the client’s acquiring the property. The design team reconfigured and re-modelled the existing structure and landscape into a contemporary desert oasis while respecting strict local architectural regulations.

With grand design gestures commensurate in scale to the sprawling (largely one storey) structure, the encouragement of the clients, and the monumental contributions of a fabulous local team, the designers achieved all their goals of creating a home replete with contemporary luxury, incorporating design features that promote indoor/outdoor living, while simultaneously respecting the realities of the extreme desert environment.

9 tips for Resilient Restaurants

2020 has taught us all a lot of tough lessons—even ones we couldn’t have possibly prepared for. When it comes to restaurant owners, one of the biggest takeaways from 2020 is the importance of having the flexibility to adapt to situations as they arise. Many restaurants throughout the industry have shown a great ability to do exactly this by incorporating resilient design into their restaurant layouts. During a time that has made it tough for even the most stable businesses to stay afloat, restaurants have surprised us all with their creativity and drive. And in return, communities have come together to help support these businesses.

Over the past year we’ve seen restaurants adapt in order to succeed, by doing things like:

  • Switching to a delivery/takeout-centric model.
  • Creating outdoor dining spaces
  • Making changes to their interior design to meet guidelines and promote safety
  • Finding creative ways to sustain their revenues and business
  • In this post, we outline some restaurant interior design tips that will help you create a beautiful space, while still giving the flexibility to adapt and change depending on what’s thrown your way.

1) Create flexible seating & displays

This one is pretty standard, so it’s likely you’re already doing this if your restaurant layout allows for it! A great way to create a resilient interior design for your restaurant is to incorporate flexible seating and displays. The need for this flexibility has been highlighted more than usual with social distancing being a requirement in restaurants and commercial spaces for the foreseeable future, however, it’s important to make sure this is a part of your restaurant’s design at all times.

Flexible seating options of four top tables and bar seating in a bright, plant-filled space.

When design is done well it should have the flexibility to change and adapt to accommodate whatever new situations arise.

2) Make designated areas for takeout and delivery

Image of exterior cafe takeout window open with a white fabric awning above.
Source: Katrín Björk domino.com

With takeout and delivery currently on the rise, the restaurant industry is seeing the importance of having a designated area for the pickup of these types of orders. Yes, this will help with the current need for social distancing, but that’s not all—this is a form of resilient design that is applicable at all times. It can help to reduce crowding at the front of your restaurant while people wait for their orders, and it also makes for an overall better experience for your patient customers.

If your restaurant layout allows for it, one of the best options is creating an actual take-out window like the one pictured. Turn a regular window into a space where people can easily pick up their online orders or make a quick purchase as they’re passing by. It can even be used by outdoor diners as a spot to place orders to speed up the ordering process.

3) Make use of moveable partitions or moveable glass dividers

The use of moveable glass dividers is a great way to ensure social distancing and give peace of mind to both customers and employees of the restaurant. They give a clear separation between diners without making them feel boxed in. The ability to move these glass walls /partitions is key as it will allow for flexibility—if tables need to be pushed together to seat a large family, the barriers can be moved to fit around the new seating arrangement. A great way to achieve this flexibility is to install tracks or wheels at the bottom of the glass dividers for ease of movement.

Glass divider partitions in a retail space.
Source: Satkartar Glass

And who says partitions or dividers need to be boring? For example, you can be creative by using fluted or reeded glass to create more of an architectural statement. In addition to being beautiful, these glass partitions create privacy for diners while still giving a more open feeling by allowing light in.

4) Be creative with your restaurant’s empty space

Implementing social distancing in your restaurant doesn’t have to be boring. Try doing something interesting instead of simply having six feet of empty space between tables. This can be as simple as putting a plant or a prop in between tables, or something more out of the box such as having mannequins seated in between. If you’re looking for more creative ideas and strategies for your space, hiring an interior designer will definitely help! Just look at this fun and super cute example of restaurant Maison Saigon and their stuffed pandas.

5) Add a display for impulse buy items at the entrance/waiting area

Shelves of take home items and prepared food in a restaurant.

With limitations on the amount of people allowed in a restaurant at a given time, along with the increasing amount of people resorting to takeout, it’s likely that people will be waiting at the entrance of your restaurant for longer than usual. Why not take advantage of this by creating a display to show impulse items such as take home meal kits or sauces, gift cards, branded merchandise, home and kitchen goods, snacks or treats.

If you’re looking for more creative ideas and strategies for your space, hiring an interior designer will definitely help! The ideas are endless and you can really have fun with this one.

6) Hand out free samples or coffee for those waiting in line

We’ve all experienced this before—the waiting game for one of our favourite restaurants. With capacity restrictions and social distancing in place, many restaurants, coffee shops, boulangeries and alike are experiencing long wait times. One way to keep those loyal customers in line is to hand out free samples.

Heck, you can even offer your restaurant guests a cup of coffee or tea while they wait outside—this will be especially appreciated during Toronto’s cold winters! Not only does this help them enjoy their time in line, but it also may assist in line drop off (keeping people around for longer than they’d usually like to wait).

7) Utilize social media to get traffic to your store

Hand holding iPhone about to take image of food.
Source: Paprica Burgers in Brazil

Social media is often where people go to learn more about your business. Well, that, and Google. One way to draw more foot traffic to your restaurant is by hosting flash deals, giveaways, and even fun window display shows or activities. For example, you can say the first 15 people at your restaurant on a given day will get something free. This can also help to spread the word about your business, grow your social media presence, and in turn increase your profits.

8) Infuse touches of the story around the store

Unless you’re a local mom and pop shop that has already grown roots in your community, most restaurants need to stand out with their interior design. This doesn’t mean every restaurant needs to have wacky colors on the walls, but it does mean that your interior design should be intentional and reflect your unique brand.

Remember, the design of your restaurant has to tell a compelling story. The best way to improve your restaurant’s interior is by infusing your story into the various elements, finishes, spaces and create moments of awe.

9) Provide pods or dedicated zones for “private” nooks

Dining booths with small laters and bench seating.
Source: Restaurant Fabbrica in Bergen

A great solution for implementing social distancing in a restaurant setting is to provide pods, or create “private” nooks for diners to eat. Not only will this separate diners from one another to help stop the spread but it will also provide a more intimate dining experience for them to enjoy. Yes, creating pods, or “private” nooks can help with the current need for social distancing, but this type of resilient design is beneficial in many other ways as well. This type of seating is a great way to create some privacy, and promote a more intimate dining experience. Below is obviously an exaggerated example of what pods can look like in a restaurant, but you can still have fun with your layout to make it feel more safe and cozy for your visitors.

2020 has been a tough year for everyone, but Covid-19 has been especially difficult on the restaurant industry. Through all this, one thing that has been amazing to see is the resiliency that restaurant owners and workers have shown, and their ability to adapt to a difficult situation.

By incorporating some of the above tips into your restaurant’s interior design, you’ll be able to safely welcome restaurant-goers in style, no matter what life throws at you. If you’re based in the Toronto GTA and are looking for some restaurant design assistance, we’re here to help!

Sansa Interiors was born out of a passion to create spaces that are comfortable, functional, and inspiring. We take a holistic approach, which enables us to study and explore each interior space differently. Every client is unique, and every design should be unique, too. If you’re interested in learning more, send me a message, and let’s find a way to help improve your space.

This home is a marriage of minimalism and tradition

An elegant residence located in Mississauga made for an interesting project for our design team. Our clients had different views about how their home should look and feel, one wanted a modern and minimalist space, while the other was set on more traditional styles that reflected their current home. Our clients needed to feel at home in their new space, so we aimed to find the common ground between their different styles as it was paramount to the success of this project. 

Interior Designer: Dana Kosich, ARIDO 

Design Firm: Hiatus Design Ltd 

Design Team: Kelly Breiter, Intern, ARIDO Project 

Photographer: Dana Kosich, Eric Malinski

The overall design for the project was influenced by the minimal exterior created by the architect and setting the tone for the design vocabulary in the interior. This compelled us to keep ornamentation to a minimum and respect the architecture while maintaining a warm and inviting atmosphere. In an effort to appease the client’s differing views, it was important to strike a balance between minimalism and tradition.

A significant interior element included a staircase located in a prominent area by the architect.  We needed the stair to be sculptural and worthy of its position in the home. Following, the lighting had to be handled with the utmost care to acknowledge the minimal design approach. Decorative lighting was kept to a minimum and one of the goals was to have the surfaces glow so that the effect of the light was appreciated without seeing the fixture itself.

Basic functional requirements like the front hall closet, elevator, and powder room door were elevated to an artful experience. The foyer amenities were completely concealed within walls paneled with warm wood. A floating stair provided a sense of weightlessness and became a focal point, while our use of ceiling coves and recesses concealed the sources of illumination, so surfaces appeared to glow. 

We designed a welcoming, open kitchen with a long island and integrated table for large gatherings. This was accompanied by a balanced use of wood and stone that created a sense of warmth. Large expanses of windows and lack of wall surfaces made it difficult to find a TV location, so a custom automated TV cabinet was designed using a motorized lift. We reworked the plans to include separate bedrooms, closets, and en-suites as this was important to the clients. This created smaller spaces which made detailing even more important to the success of the project. 

To allow for large parties, the lower-level recreation/theatre room was outfitted with another kitchen. A dual-sided fireplace separates the games room from the home theatre, which reinforces a sense of coziness. The retractable movie screen was carefully situated between the mechanized fold-away doors. This clever placement allowed the screen to serve the room and retract when not in use, preserving the views. The projector along with dinnerware was strategically hidden in a wall of sculptural millwork. Custom-designed furniture provides ample seating for guests while the wine room invites you in behind a glass wall and a showcased wine display.

Lastly, in a home of mostly glass and very little wall, it was difficult to locate basic necessities, so our challenge was to pull it all together thoughtfully. This magnificent residence started with separated views, but we pulled together a beautiful marriage of minimalism and tradition.

This project was also recognized with an ARIDO Award of Merit in 2019.

WOC CEU Evening – February 18

Join the Western Ontario Chapter for a CEU evening, February 18th, from 3:45-7:30 PM! Take part in three HS CEUs to complete your PD credits before the end of the cycle this June!

Three CEU presentations will be held along with a group dinner and networking. A $25 gift card to SkipTheDishes will be provided via email to each registrant.

Based on member feedback, this opportunity has been scheduled for a Thursday evening.

Date and Time: 18 February, 2021 3:45 pm – 7:30 pm
Event Cost: $5 for students, $10 for all other members

3:45 – 4:00pm: Welcome + tech setup
4:00 – 5:00pm: How to Design for Space Constraints in Various Workplaces presented by Spacesaver Solutions
5:00 – 6:00pm: Next Generation of Healthy Surfaces presented by Caragreen
6:00 – 6:30pm: Group dinner / networking
6:30 – 7:30pm – Light + Well Building, presented by Fluxworx

How to Design for Space Constraints in Various Workplaces presented by Spacesaver Solutions (1 HS)

Learn how to design for space constraints in a variety of workplaces from the office, to educational institutions, to museums and beyond. This course explores furniture, fixtures, and equipment that contribute to maximizing space through design. This course will provide participants with FF&E solutions that maximize space, are aesthetically pleasing, and contributed to occupant wellness. Participants will learn how functional solutions can be incorporated into a workplace’s design and provide for occupants needs.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand how today’s design trends are impacting space across various markets and how furniture, fixtures, and equipment can be incorporated to condense storage and maximize space for both new construction and renovation projects.
  • Learn how FF&E can contribute to occupant wellness by integrating ventilation, lighting solutions, and safety features into shelving and storage solutions used in public entities.
  • Combat space planning challenges in design by incorporating solutions customized for bulky stuff storage, where employee and patron ergonomics are accounted for and space utilization is condensed and optimized.
  • Examine space challenges across various markets and learn how different applications of shelving and storage can balance the needs and safety of both your clients’ employees and patrons.

Next Generation of Healthy Surfaces presented by Caragreen (1 HS)

Innovation should bring us together. Surfaces have always mattered and are often the centerpieces of our built environment. With changing requirements of our surfaces, it’s important to understand all these new terms and what they mean for occupant health and safety. Throughout this presentation we will look at different health claims being made in order to help understand how we can innovate with health in mind.

Learning Objectives:

  • What is this new terminology and what does it mean?
  • How will our offices and surfaces change in the future?
  • How will we interact with our spaces?
  • How will we interact with each other?

Light + Well Building, presented by Fluxworx (1 HS)

You’re invited to join us in our newest continuing education session addressing these questions surrounding the certification process and lighting requirements in the latest WELL Building v2 standards.

  • How does light impact our health and well-being?
  • What responsibility do designers have to occupants?
  • What’s important when specifying lighting for WELL v2?

Featuring practical recommendations and strategies, you will gain a complete understanding of key factors to help achieve maximum eligible WELL credits with lighting design and specification in commercial applications.

This office has multiple neighbourhoods, each with its own personality

Tandia Financial moved from three cramped floors to a single daylight-flooded level featuring 18 foot ceilings. With the entire organization now on one floor we had to come up with a way of structuring the space to provide simple wayfinding and an intuitive sense of order.

Interior Designer: Joanne Chan, ARIDO
Design Firm: SDI Design Inc
Project Photographer: Scott Norsworthy Photography

Meeting and work space is adjacent to a special meeting area built to look like a cabin in the office space.

By clustering hard-walled spaces at the centre we divided the space into four neighbourhood quadrants. Each neighbourhood has a central common space break-out area with a unique visual identity. And each of these “squares” is further differentiated by having an individual ambience based on one of the four seasons. The public facing facilities are organized around the town’s “Piazza”, and flanked by community spaces such a training rooms, café, reception, boardroom and visitor meeting rooms, etc.

Team members:
Interior Design: SDI Design: Joanne Chan, Glenn Cheng, Bruce Freeman, Rubia Fossari
Project Manager: Cresa Toronto_ May Chaaya
Mechanical & Electrical Engineers: Iannuziello & Associates
Structural Engineers: Dorlan Engineering
Architect: Paradigm Architects
Constructor: Flat Iron Building Group

Danish Desire: The Enduring Influence of Danish Modern

Join leading designers, makers and educators from Canada and Denmark in an online discussion about the enduring influence of Modern Danish Design, next Saturday, January 23, 2pm-3pm EST, presented by The Royal Danish Consulate General and TORP, and part of the 2021 DesignTO Festival.

Featuring:

Joanne Chan, ARIDO, Principal of SDI Design, a commercial design firm that focuses on Workplace design in Toronto.
Kelly Buffey, Principal of Akb Architects, internationally recognized as one of Canada’s leading architects of private residential homes.
Peter Fleming, Head of Furniture, Sheridan College Bachelor of Craft and Design Program.
Kasper Holst Pedersen, 3rd Generation Master Cabinet Maker and CEO of PP Møbler, Denmark.
Lene Tanggaard, Rector at Design School Kolding and Professor of Psychology in the Department of Communication and Psychology at the University of Aalborg, Denmark.
Hosted by: Arne Nordtorp, Owner, TORP Inc. and Honorary Consul General to Denmark.

Visit the TORP website for more.

Call for Nominations for the position of GTA Chapter President-elect

In accordance with ARIDO’s Chapter By-laws (By-law No. 5), those Registered members in good standing who are interested in putting their name forward or who wish to nominate another Registered Member will require their nomination to be signed by the Nominee and seconded by two (2) other Registered members in good standing. Please click here for the nomination form.

Included with the nomination should be a short bio outlining the candidate’s practice and volunteer history. The candidate should also include a statement outlining why they wish to be considered for the President-elect of the Chapter Board of Directors. Please use this form. (MS Word file will download.)

President-elect term

President-elect will serve on the Chapter Board for a three-year term.
The first year as President-elect / Director of Communications
The second year as President
The third year as Past-President / Director of Programming

Any members submitting a nomination should do so by Friday, February 26, 2021.

Appointment of Secretary/Treasurer

The position of Secretary/Treasurer is appointed by the Chapter Board of Directors for a period of one year and may be re-appointed annually for no more than three consecutive years. The current Secretary/Treasurer position will be open for new appointment as of April 2021.

Registered members, in good standing, interested in this position should submit a short bio outlining a brief summary about themselves and their volunteer history. They should also include a statement outlining why they wish to be considered for the Chapter Board. Please use this form.

If you have any questions or wish to discuss the nominations process, please email ikemp@arido.ca.