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Perhaps the most distinctive design feature of Gusto 501 — a Toronto restaurant in a skylit building — is the ruddy cladding on the interior walls, a play of bulges, tapers, extrusions and cavities. To produce this effect, local firm Partisans purchased simple terracotta blocks, then had a fabricator cut them into 24 different shapes. Like a mosaicist, they arranged the pieces on the walls according to a painstakingly conceived pattern. By day, sunlight casts variegated shadows on the surface. At night, the walls are illuminated by LEDs embedded in the terracotta blocks, transforming the voids into glowing lanterns.

Team: Alex Josephson and Jonathan Friedman with Benjamin Salance, Tim Melnichuk and Ivan Vasyliv (Partisans); with Boszko & Verity; Ian Mountfort (Blackwell Structural Engineers); Alex Lukachko (RDH Building Science); Shawn Richards and Neil Pham (BK Consulting); Elias Frechette (LRI Engineering); David McKay (MHBC Planning); PICCO Engineering; and Wendy Haworth (Wendy Haworth Design Studio)

People’s Choice: Lighting Schemes
Gusto 501

Partisans had a fabricator cut terracotta blocks into 24 different shapes, then arranged them into a pattern that glows by day and night.

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