George Brown College Chefs’ House Restaurant
Augmenting George Brown College’s renowned Chef School program, the Chefs’ House is a fully functioning restaurant that provides students with an authentic learning experience and the city with an unusual dining destination. Reflecting new philosophies within the culinary profession, a large, open-concept kitchen is located at the front of the restaurant. The kitchen is fully visible from the exterior through new, 15 foot high windows and the prep counters are flush against the windows so that as the chefs work, they become live mannequins and the restaurant’s best signage.
Entering the Chefs’ House through a coloured-glass vestibule, patrons are struck by the contrast between the slick contemporary elements and the rawness of the exposed brick walls and wood ceiling of the host building. The kitchen’s industrial, stainless steel countertops, cupboards, ranges and ovens are framed by glossy red tiling and a backlit glass bar with a silky white quartz countertop that dips to serve as a hostess’ reception desk and doubles as a chef’s table.
A new, undulating ceiling over a section of the room creates a more intimate scale, sweeping over the kitchen like a ribbon and unfurling over a portion of the dining area and then slipping down the far wall. Compressed above the kitchen, this ceiling frames a sophisticated stainless steel ventilation system and hides its mechanics. Rising over the dining area, the ceiling is punctured by slots that are discretely lined with acoustic paneling and fluorescent lighting to absorb excess noise while also creating a sculptural appearance. Adjacent to the new ceiling, a lyrical arrangement of hand-cut, cast glass globes embedded with low voltage bulbs imbues the interior with a sense of levity and luster. Seen through the windows, they spark the curiosity of those on the exterior to explore the buzz within.
Learn about other Gow Hastings Architects Culinary Arts and Culinary Institutes projects.
George Brown College, Toronto, ON with Kearns Mancini Architect Inc.
Size: 4,500 sq. ft.
Completion: April 2009