What makes a social space attractive? The atmosphere, details and sounds, aromas and laughs? These are all to be found at Bar Raval in Toronto, Canada. Designed by Canadian architects Partisans, the modern social space greets guests with a unique display of undulating mahogany lines. Imagined to have people enjoy each other’s company while sitting, the ambitious project is defined by smooth lines that invite to touch. It’s easy to lean against soft edges and feel your way along the textured walls and bar edge.
“Bar Raval is a 21st-century reinterpretation of Spanish Art Nouveau. The brainchild of celebrated Canadian chef Grant van Gameren and wunderkind mixologists Mike Webster and Robin Goodfellow, Raval introduces Toronto to the pintxo bar, a cornerstone of social and gastronomic culture in Basque Country.”
Spreading over 1,980 square feet, the sculptural Bar Raval encourages social interaction: “Raval’s molten quality fosters fluid circulation and close encounters, honoring the spirit of its Spanish pintxo counterparts.”
Nooks and crannies become part of the sinuous design. Mahogany stretches from the walls up to the ceilings, where cut-outs showcase the complex ceiling design and bottles found their perfect decor place. The dark color palette alongside gold infusions help create a sophisticated atmosphere, perfect for socialization. Specializing in tapas but revealing a mix of modern and Nouveau design, Bar Raval brings a unique perspective on fun on Toronto’s bar scene.
A customized project, Bar Raval is infused with its owners’ personalities: “The bar’s design pays direct homage to the physicality of its three owners. The result: A series of three-dimensional tattooed “limbs” that enfold patrons in a warm mahogany embrace. Passers-by can also admire the artistry—the handcrafted steel latticework we designed to clad the front and side windows. But like van Gameren’s mouth-watering pinxtos, the filigree only offers a tantalizing taste of what lies within.”
We recently featured a fascinating bar area that was designed to become the focal point for the bartender’s intriguing cocktails, maybe you’d like to see how that design looks like and compare it to what you know.
What is new and exciting now can quickly begin to look tired and out of fashion, so the best buildings don’t just consider what will be interesting to look at now, but also how it might look to people in five, fifty or even a hundred years’ time. 2013’s hotly contested RIBA Stirling Prize went to Witherford Watson Mann Architects for their work on Astley Castle, Warwickshire. In what RIBA Past President Stephen Hodder has described as an extreme retrofit, the project essentially saw a new building inserted subtly into the heart of the old, with a new, two storey residence now hidden within the sandstone walls of the ruins of this medieval castle, to be used as a holiday home for up to eight guests
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