Lanterra's Burano condos on Bay Street—between Grenville and Grosvenor—was regularly affixed in many an'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…

Burano Condominiums seen from the south, image by Craig White

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.

Burano Condominiums seen from the southeast, image by Craig White

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.

Burano's jewel box seen from the northeast, image by Craig White

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.

Stainless steel seats at tables outside Burano's jewel box, image by Craig White

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.

Bar stools and a granite table outside Burano's jewel box, image by Craig White

The above were all taken during the daytime, let's come back for the unveiling party.

The Burano jewel box lit up at night, image by Craig White

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.

Burano outdoor cafe furniture lit up from below at night, image by Craig White

Inside the doors - we look up through etched glass panels to the fresco behind - Glass Memory's twin components.

Sandro Martini's frescoes and etched glass panels at Burano condominiums, image by Jack Landau

Fresco unveiling party at Burano condominiums, image by Jack Landau

Colour is everywhere inside at night: Glass Memory reflects off the jewel box's glazing.

Fresco unveiling party at Burano condominiums, image by Jack Landau

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.

Fresco unveiling party at Burano condominiums, image by Craig White

What's a party without terrific things to munch on?

Lots to nibble at the Martini Unveiling at Burano, image by Jack Landau

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.

Sandro Martini, Peter Clewes, and Karen Mills at the fresco unveiling at Burano, image by Jack Landau

Speeches soon followed. Mark Mandelbaum, Chairman of Lanterra Developments emceed, introducing and thanking the many people involved with the work's creation.

Speeches at the fresco unveiling at Burano, image by Jack Landau

Mark Mandelbaum, Sandro Martini, and Barry Fenton at the fresco unveiling at Burano, image by Jack Landau

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.

Fresco unveiling party at Burano condominiums, image by Craig White

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.

Fresco unveiling party at Burano condominiums, image by Craig White

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.

Related Companies:  architects—Alliance, Baker Real Estate Incorporated, Isotherm Engineering Ltd., Janet Rosenberg & Studio