VELA in Toronto is the latest hospitality experience designed by studio PARTISANS. As investment partners and lead designers, PARTISANS worked collaboratively with two experts in the culinary and beverage world and operating owners of VELA: Robin Goodfellow, the part owner of PARTISANS-designed Bar Raval, and Amanda Bradley, the co-founder and former GM of the Alo restaurant.
The goal was to create an unparalleled and captivating venue plus dining experience by converting a former office suite within the confines of a heritage building. Achieving a timeless yet contemporary experience in addition to a seamless flow was key to the design. The space is laid out to be experienced as a journey as you move through the restaurant. Greeted by a grand entrance reminiscent of a boutique hotel lobby, guests are welcomed by a reception and coat check then move along to the champagne bar as they wait for a table and finally unfolding into the main dining room. The entrance also exhibits the first sign of the design theme that carries throughout the restaurant. PARTISANS was inspired by the natural phenomena of rock erosion carved by wind and water, taking place under a starry constellation. The entrance shapes are reminiscent of glacial erratics, and the main dining room features a flowing sculpture across the ceiling and walls with spotted lighting to create a similar experience of a starry night.
Photo: Courtesy of PARTISANS