Lanterra's Burano condos on Bay Street—between Grenville and Grosvenor—was regularly affixed in many an UrbanToronto.ca-shutterbug's viewfinder over the course of its construction. The 50-storey tectonically-shifted parallelogram designed by architectsAlliance sits above a bend in Bay Street giving it an increasing prominence as one drives north from Queen. This is one of Toronto's handful of buildings which reflects its position at the top of a view corridor…
and view it we did, frequently, as construction progressed. It has been several months now since most changes on the exterior were completed, and our fickle photographers have mostly moved on to fresher concrete.
There was a big reason to re-affix our aim again on Thursday evening as Burano recorded another milestone; the unveiling of Glass Memory, the great fresco by Sandro Martini in Burano's jewel box space on the corner at Grosvenor and Bay.
Before we go inside however, you need to know that at 6:30 PM this coming Monday evening you have a chance to hear Martini speak about his work in OCAD University's Great Hall. Admission is free. Toronto is lucky to have Glass Memory (as you will see as you go through the images below) and we are even luckier to have Martini here for a talk. If you have the time, don't miss the opportunity. The poster for the talk is at the end of this article.
The next thing to mention, by way of preface to the event, is to note that another major component is now in place at Bay and Grosvenor. The jewel box is an interior space, albeit one flooded by natural light, but there is an outdoor component too. Someday the in and the out will work together as a wine bar or a sushi spot or something along those lines, but the outdoor portion is ready for your attention now. On a patio open to the sidewalk is a sophisticated addition to Toronto's street life, inspired by European street cafes, adding to the place immeasureably with elegantly simple stainless seats and bar stools, and a granite table. They will make socializing on the corner quite inviting and very easy. Glenn Herman, principal and lead designer at Janet Rosenberg & Studio told us that it was important to create a beautiful setting while taking away nothing from Martini's work.
The above were all taken during the daytime, let's come back for the unveiling party.
Granite inserts amidst stone patio paving makes for a simple but luxurious base for the patio area. Lighting under the stainless steel tables highlights the ensemble beautifully.
Inside the doors - we look up through etched glass panels to the fresco behind - Glass Memory's twin components.
Colour is everywhere inside at night: Glass Memory reflects off the jewel box's glazing.
Soon enough there was quite a crowd, including the many people of Martini's team, those at Lanterra and architectsAlliance who had a hand in creating Burano, members of the city's public art community, city planners, members of the Bay-Cloverhill and Bloor-Yorkville residents associations, and many others.
What's a party without terrific things to munch on?
Below, Sandro Martini stands beside Peter Clewes of architectsAlliance and Karen Mills of Public Art Management. Mills' work is to find the right artist for the right job and shepherd them through the work's creation. In this case Martini and Clewes planned the jewel box space together, the artist and the architect having a rare chance to create an artwork for the space and the space for the artwork.
Speeches soon followed. Mark Mandelbaum, Chairman of Lanterra Developments emceed, introducing and thanking the many people involved with the work's creation.
The space feels right, finally filled with people for the first time. Martini's fresco and Clewes' canted glass walls impart an energy that will make it a favourite gathering spot in this city.
The trick now is to fill the space night after night, so Lanterra is looking for just the right tenant. A full restaurtant may be tricky in the spot as the smoke from ovens is not wanted: the fresco would not be easy to clean. Maybe we will see a sushi bar here, maybe a wine bar, maybe a cafe. Maybe you have a plan: contact Lanterra! We look forward to a grand opening in upcoming months.
Until the space is open on a regular basis feel free to enjoy the outdoor area, and again, if you're available, plan on attending Sandro Martini at OCAD U, as per below, on Monday night.
We'll be back to show you how Martini's fresco was created shortly. For now, if you want to know more about Burano, click on the dataBase link below, or choose the associated Forum thread links if you'd like to get in on the conversation.