2020 GFD 🏆 Awards

Special Mention: Eataly by Unique Store Fixtures

Eataly Toronto, located in Yorkville’s Manulife Centre, is a 50,000 sq.ft. Italian food market and  Canadian flagship location of the popular hospitality brand. GPA completed the interior design of all spaces including “Il Gran Caffè”, the grand café located on the main floor and the brewery, “Birroteca” by India Ale House, located at the concourse level. GPA has enjoyed a long relationship with the Eataly company, completing a new Eataly in Copenhagen and renovations to their Chicago locations both in 2016.

Special Mention- Global Future Design Awards 2020
Firm | Unique Store Fixtures
Architect/Designer | Gianncone Petricone Associates

Category | Commercial Built
Team | Unique Store Fixtures, Gianncone Petricone Associates
Country | Canada
Photographer/Copyright | ©Unique Store Fixtures

©Unique Store Fixtures

Eataly Toronto is tailored to the nuances of our growing city and is designed to enhance and augment social exchanges via the universal catalyst of great Italian food. It is only fitting that the traditional and enduring “passeggiata” is the inspiration behind the design for Eataly Toronto. This timeless ritual sees Italians each evening take to the main street and piazza, to stroll and socialize and occasionally stop at bars and shops along the way. This series of experiences requires a new, intimate street scale at Bloor and Bay. Raised to the second floor, or ‘piano nobile’ overlooking the street, the main market is organized around two main “piazza” spaces. While most Eataly’s are centred around one main “piazza”, the Toronto location is designed around two – one defined by the ‘loggia’ and the other by the ‘ovens’. A monumental bar resonant of the traditional Italian town and its main “loggia” with over-head lights and carved wood marks the traditional “piazza”. The second “piazza” is more urban at the north-east corner overlooking Bloor Street on one side, and twin, large wood-burning ovens on the other. The gold mosaic encrusted ovens become orienting landmarks along the eventful passeggiata, punctuated by strings of market fair shelving, glass vitrines, and reach-in coolers filled with dry and fresh goods. The design reflects our city’s diversity and takes full advantage of carefully crafted canopies, eased counters, textured upholstery, and customized patterns of Italian hand-crafted terrazzo tile. The circuit is choregraphed to lure customers into pockets of delight with changing materials, seating, and of-course lighting fixtures and elements. Like many GPA projects, the lighting elements here help to define zones of pause and slow stroll.

The entire experience begins at the sidewalk where the three-storey glass of the Manulife Centre exposes Eataly’s trademark copper pots installation. Once inside, the aroma like the directional oak ceiling draw customers into the Grand Café. The dark, long bar is flanked by an unexpected, plaster half-vault designed to negotiate the unwanted ceiling drops from escalators overhead. The half-vault curves to embrace an intimate seating area and is sculpted to receive pendants that drop at each table for the ‘grand café’ experience by day, and ‘drinking bar’ experience by night.