+tongtong lends a spanish flavor to toronto tapas bar
 
+tongtong lends a spanish flavor to toronto tapas bar
dec 07, 2014

+tongtong lends a spanish flavor to toronto tapas bar

+tongtong lends a spanish flavor to toronto tapas bar
image by lisa petrole photography

 

 

 

multi-disciplinary studio +tongtong has completed ‘barsa taberna‘, a spanish-influenced tapas restaurant in downtown toronto. the predominantly subterranean space seeks to evoke the intimacy and vibrancy of barcelona, a city familiar to both the client and the designer. located in a historical building across from the famous st. lawrence market, the 3,000-square-foot site has been completely transformed into a sleek interior that balances freeform expression with a modernist architectural language.

+tongtong barsa taberna tapas toronto canada designboom
image by lisa petrole photography

 

 

 

the bar area is defined by a swirling, vibrant blue graphic floor pattern. the ornamentation was extrapolated from the gaudí-influenced tile in the main dining room, a design by refin ceramiche for their ‘frame majolica‘ collection. a computer-generated adhesive stencil was laid down on the new concrete floors, and then coated with epoxy paint. the design runs up the sides of the kitchen walls and the bar, which integrates a blown-up version of the same pattern.

+tongtong barsa taberna tapas toronto canada designboom
image by lisa petrole photography

 

 

 

on the other side of the bar area, the red chairs encase custom-designed tables that feature a laminate top with a wooden edge. above the banquet seating is a glass wall made of 1,500 colored wine bottles, all painstakingly hand-cut by the client’s friends, and inspired by the floor tile’s natural forms. old stone archways differentiate the grotto-style dining area, a very tight, dark and windowless space with low ceilings and wooden beams.

+tongtong barsa taberna tapas toronto canada designboom
image by lisa petrole photography

 

 

 

in the warmer months, a large, 75-seat patio runs the whole length of the restaurant. as part of the market street revitalization, a project that restored designated heritage buildings and reanimated the neglected street, the patio of ‘barsa’ will act as an anchor in the rejuvenated thoroughfare.

+tongtong barsa taberna tapas toronto canada designboom
image by lisa petrole photography

 

 

 

‘in spain, there’s this way of making things work no matter the conditions,’ explains founding principle john tong. ‘for instance, you might have to walk under stairs and pass a press kitchen to get to the dining room, the kitchen is half the size it should be, and the washrooms might be located down an alley. however, these seemingly difficult site conditions really contribute to the authentic feel of a tapas bar.’

+tongtong barsa taberna tapas toronto canada designboom
images by lisa petrole photography

+tongtong barsa taberna tapas toronto canada designboom
image by lisa petrole photography

+tongtong barsa taberna tapas toronto canada designboom
images by lisa petrole photography

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