stacklab sites community-focused, culture and retail hub at the heart of toronto
 

stacklab sites community-focused, culture and retail hub at the heart of toronto

toronto’s recent explosive growth has put a lot of pressure on the city to maintain its status as one of the most livable in the world. currently searching for an identity worthy of its global stature, everyone is eyeing the tech industry’s potential to transform urban environments into smart cities of the future, using toronto as a testing ground. meanwhile, a local developer and operator is going against the grain by focusing on the age-old principles of community and culture.

 

stackt market is a community-focused, cultural and retail hub in the city’s center. since it opened in april 2019, it has been steadily embraced by a community craving for authentic, culturally-enriching places to spend their spare time. what makes it unique is that it is a temporary arrangement with the city and is slated to be dismantled in 2021.

stacklab sites community-focused, culture and retail hub at the heart of toronto

 

 

for the food and beverage portion of the market, stackt partnered with stacklab, an unrelated design studio. stacklab’s intervention covered three main areas: the open-air ‘forme’ pavilion; enhancements to the beer hall occupied by a local brewer, with a lighting and plant-based installation; and the provision of outdoor benches throughout the marketplace, the latter designed in collaboration with local designers COFO. stacklab embraced the temporary nature of the place and took it one step further. the firm elected to only use widely available, recyclable or reusable materials for each of their design interventions, affirming the sustainability of their design, despite its ephemeral nature.

stacklab sites community-focused, culture and retail hub at the heart of toronto

 

 

the market’s messy aesthetic, a function of the materials and assembly methods chosen, is deliberate and contributed to making the venue feel homey from day one. it also made construction and disassembly easy, as it only employed readily available standard materials and trades. although conceptually, the idea of employing pedestrian, ungainly materials for a public space is in direct contradiction with their intended use, most of it is either re-usable ad infinitum or can easily be recycled.

stacklab sites community-focused, culture and retail hub at the heart of toronto

 

 

beyond the design’s inventive take on common materials, the team sought to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere that would result in repeat visitors — from hairy bikers meets, to morning yoga classes, to high-brow runway fashion shows. stacklab says that its goal is to spark a dialogue and get people to start thinking about what underused, neglected and fenced-off sites found across the city could be transformed into, with a little goodwill, some funding and a lot of creativity. ‘we fundamentally buy in to what stackt is doing and with our intervention, we’re making the argument that creating culture isn’t easy, but it doesn’t have to be complicated,’ says jeff forrest, stacklab’s founder.

stacklab sites community-focused, culture and retail hub at the heart of toronto

stacklab sites community-focused, culture and retail hub at the heart of toronto

stacklab sites community-focused, culture and retail hub at the heart of toronto

stacklab sites community-focused, culture and retail hub at the heart of toronto

stacklab sites community-focused, culture and retail hub at the heart of toronto

stacklab sites community-focused, culture and retail hub at the heart of toronto

stacklab sites community-focused, culture and retail hub at the heart of toronto

 

 

project info:

 

name: forme pavilion / tyvek benches / tyvek lighting
year: 2019
location: stackt market, 28 bathurst st, toronto, ON, canada
size: ~5,000 sf overall (food and bev. area including the pavilion and the containers) / forme pavilion ~3,000 sqf
budget: $300,000 CAD
owner: stackt market
designer: stacklab
structural engineer: safway
mechanical engineer: yoon and associates
contractor / builder: ellisdon
other consultants and suppliers: LRI engineering, rhino wrap, storstac
photographers: sean mcbride (pavilion) / rajestha julatum (tyvek lighting and benches)
text: arnaud marthouret

 

 

designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions’ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

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