Toronto, ON
Client: Dream Office REIT
Size: 550 sq. ft.
Completion: 2022

The adaptive reuse of an alleyway between two, early 20th century office buildings–in the core of the financial district of a major North American city–has transformed a negative space in an innovative and transformative manner, resulting in a lively and contemporary restaurant patio that brings new life to an underappreciated urban environment. This is a first in a series of possible urban improvements by the client where underused spaces between buildings–once viewed as unsafe and derelict–can be reimagined as a genuine urban asset.

Design solutions required close collaboration with the design team and technical studies that enabled allow the addition of trees, which meant the installation of a complex sub-drainage system and structural solution with soil cells and added irrigation. The terrace features three trees housed in a giant, below-grade concrete vault that sits in an accessible basement room, which contains a large storm water cistern and manholes above the floor as well. Material selection, in paving and other furnishing and lighting, was executed in a mid-century theme and takes cues from the interior design as the alley is a natural extension of the interior finishes.