Following quickly on the heels of other recent retail proposals in Toronto's posh Yorkville village, an established cafe and restaurant space is seeking to expand in a very unexpected way at the southeast corner of Bellair Street and Yorkville Avenue. Boasting a striking design by architects PARTISANS, a submission was made to the City of Toronto for Site Plan Control on February 13th, the plans calling for the demolition of an existing two-storey brick building—previously home to Zaza Espresso Bar—to make way for an expansion of the adjacent Trattoria Nervosa at the corner. Using the footprint of the proposed teardown to the south, the addition would cantilever over the Victorian building at the corner, closely contoured to it, creating a juxtaposition of architectural languages.
The project proposes the expansion of the restaurant's existing at-grade patio, and the addition of a new outdoor rooftop seating area. Currently two storeys tall with a height of 10.3 metres, this proposed two-storey addition would bring the converted residential structure up to a height of four storeys, at 17.95 metres including a mechanical penthouse. Trattoria Nervosa's existing gross floor area (GFA) of 195 m2 would be expanded by 202.2 m2 of space, bringing the proposed GFA up to a new total of 398.5 m2.
The addition's smooth, machined curves are framed by a tactile seasonal green wall, which will hide a blank brick wall to the east of it at 69 Yorkville Avenue. This living wall—accentuating the project's organic massing—will feature a minimum of 50% native species during warmer months, while presenting a striking roughly textured surface during colder months. In another nod to nature, the third floor's northwest corner will feature a planted tree, with a large root enclosure that floats below the third floor slab in the void above the Victorian building's sloping roof.
Additional information and renderings can be found in the project's dataBase file, linked below. Want to get involved in the discussion? Check out the associated Forum thread, or leave a comment using the field provided at the bottom of this page.