bar raval by partisans features carved mahogany interiors
 
bar raval by partisans features carved mahogany interiors
apr 02, 2015

bar raval by partisans features carved mahogany interiors

bar raval by partisans features carved mahogany interiors
dive into an idiosyncratic fusion of spanish art nouveau with contemporary digital tools: think gaudi with computers, tattoos and a love for the wu-tang clan…
images courtesy of partisans

 

 

 

canadian studio partisans has completed the interior renovation of a bar in toronto, designed to rival the art nouveau histories of barcelona’s famed pinxto bars. located at the heart of the city’s little italy district, bar raval is the outpost of canadian culinary impresario grant van gameren and his partner mike webster – one of the world’s most celebrated mixologists.

partisans grant van gameren bar raval toronto canada designboom
the design references the art nouveau histories of barcelona’s famed pinxto bars. open from breakfast through to last call, it serves coffee, breakfast, tapas and cocktails.

 

 

 

named after ‘el raval’, a once seedy district in the catalan capital, the scheme draws reference from the passions of the clients who are masters of spanish cuisine, art and culture.

 

‘the design developed out of a connection between the formal histories of art nouveau, the plethora of cured slabs of meat, and the anatomy of the chefs themselves: a tattooed muscle bound group of intellectuals’, explains partisans. ‘our design is a three dimensional tattoo manifest in pure CNC’d mahogany.’

 

‘bar raval will be as much an art piece as a restaurant, the architects we hired are the only people in canada and perhaps the world capable of achieving my vision for one of the greatest bars in the world’, furthered grant van gameren, chef and owner of bar raval.

partisans grant van gameren bar raval toronto canada designboom
‘bar raval’ is located in the heart of toronto’s little italy district, the owners are using adventurous design and craftsmanship to build a place that will have the presence of an institution, and might just become one.

 

 

 

the sculpted mahogany wood uses the most dynamic, state of the art technologies and systems in the industry, creating a fluid stage for some of canada’s best culinary and mixology masters to perform their art. externally, the metallic lingerie that shrouds the windows gives passersby only a glimpse of with what lies within – a metaphor for all the mystery that toronto’s culinary and design worlds have to offer.

partisans grant van gameren bar raval toronto canada designboom
the bar is named after ‘el raval’, a once seedy district in barcelona

 

 

 

on a recent trip to toronto, designboom was invited to visit partisans’ studio, where the practice’s co-founders  gave us a tour of their studio in downtown toronto. we discussed the development of bar raval, and the evolution of the design concept through mood boards which span the length of their office walls. for more on the visit, see the gallery at the bottom of the page, which includes a visit to the bar while it was under construction.

 

partisans was founded by alexander josephson, who grew up in forest hill, and iranian émigré pooya baktash, after they met at architecture school at the university of waterloo in 2010. like many in canada, both are frustrated at the long process of becoming a registered architect in this province; nut they are both working on it. in the meantime, jonathan friedman, a south african expat and a licensed architect with a decade of experience in toronto, is now the third partner in the firm.
see more of partisans’ work here, including an inviting sauna which also boasts bold sinuous forms.

partisans grant van gameren bar raval toronto canada designboom
the sculpted mahogany interiors fill the entirety of the volume

partisans grant van gameren bar raval toronto canada designboom
metallic lingerie shrouds the windows, giving passersby a glimpse of with what lies within. (the heavily tattooed bartenders are wu-tan diehards. their bar’s custom drip trays feature the wu logo.)

partisans grant van gameren bar raval toronto canada designboom
wood is here sculpted into voluptuous bulges and scored with an intricate pattern of lines, all generated by computer code.
then oiled to a lustrous finish. a little terraced protrusion on top that evokes architectural models, or the stump of an ancient hardwood tree.

partisans grant van gameren bar raval toronto canada designboom
a closeup highlighting the scheme’s precise detailing

partisans grant van gameren bar raval toronto canada designboom
left to right: pooya baktash (partisans), grant van gameren and alex josephson (partisans)
image © designboom

partisans bar raval toronto canada designboom
the design developed in response to the formal history of art nouveau, but you can find points of referment of muscles, tattoos,…
image © designboom

partisans bar raval toronto canada designboom
alex josephson explains the bar’s concept to designboom
image © designboom

partisans bar raval toronto canada designboom
partisans’ two co-founding members give us a tour of their work studio, here with the horizontal development of the stainless steel drip trays with the wu-tan logo on it.
image © designboom

 

 

project info:

 

name: bar raval
location: toronto, canada
client: grant van gameren, mike webster & robin goodfellow
type: bar
scale: 1,980 sqf / 183 sqm

  • Beautiful, OTT but it serves it’s purpose and what craftmanship.

    Brian Waite

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