A former Canadian dance studio, once leased by Disney, has been uniquely transformed into what is now The Carbon Bar.
The Carbon Bar is situated in the bottom two storeys of a five storey building in Toronto, Canada. The venue spans across an impressive 7500 square feet, including the mezzanine level, and holds space for almost 150 guests in the main dining areas, with thirty additional seats on offer in a private dining room on the second floor.
A brainchild of Chef David Lee and restaurateur Yannick Bigourdan, the new venue offers Canadian diners a trendy BBQ eatery in the East village of downtown Toronto, precisely located at 99 Queen Street East.
The inspiration behind the venue and the design concept was to create a place where fun-loving guests could share un-pretentious cuisine in an array of formats. The Carbon Bar team wanted to create a venue with impeccable service and a space inspired by an old rock’n’roll discotheque, an upstart TV station and a media giant’s studio, all previous tenants of the building.
Canadian lighting design and manufacturing company, VISO Inc., played a crucial role in creating the ambience of the establishment. VISO worked alongside Giannone Petricone Associates Inc. a Toronto based architecture firm to create unique and sustainable lighting in order to successfully enhance the theme of the restaurant. Following a needs consultation with the clients, VISO used a combination of sustainable resources in the design and manufacturing of the fixtures, such as cutting edge LED fittings.
As part of the project, custom screens with integrated lights compose a large fabric chandelier over the bar. The project design utilizes a grid of oversized pantograph lights, a series of table specific spots, neon accents, and the custom fabric chandelier to collectively define the zones of the restaurant.
Brie Johnson of Giannone Petricone Architects, said:
“We chose VISO because we knew from experience on past projects that they would be able to successfully execute a custom light fixture design for the large globe and pantograph fixture, as well as the smaller globe clusters with fabric panels, amongst a few other smaller pieces throughout the restaurant.”
Reducing the venue’s carbon footprint was very important to the client. VISO used only LED and Cold Cathode lamps to accommodate the sustainability requirements. The 30-foot ceilings, wood floors and brick walls are complimented by the impressive lighting featured throughout the venue.
Twelve spherical light fixtures with white high quality polycarbonate frosted globes suspend on black metal pantographs equipped with LED lamps. The Rhea LED, made of clear and silver metallized glass globes hangs by modern rope covered cables and was chosen for its slim and complementary fit within the large custom fixtures, while also accommodating preferred light dispersion at table level. All areas of the restaurant are wrapped in routered, plywood panels that are interrupted to expose Victorian brick, distressed concrete, and duct work absorbed by bands of colour which echo a piece of installation art.
Above the bar area hangs the venue’s custom fabric chandelier. The chandelier comprises four 256 sq. feet semi-translucent fabric screens decorated by a sonar design. Hidden cables suspend mini lights two inches wide between the screens, which mark different spots on the sonar design. These screens fill the 20-foot space above the bar and separate the restaurant from the windows for a feeling of intimacy. Under the screens hangs another integrated custom light with white frosted globes attached to a black metal linear tube structure. This light reminds us of another era, the Art Deco style of the 1920’s. This feeling is felt throughout the restaurant as one experiences the stately burgundy leather booths, dark smoke oak floor and the mood created by the lights sequentially hanging across the room.
Filipe Lisboa, VISO CEO & head designer asserts:
“The final lighting products integrated into the décor just as stars fit the night sky. We are happy to have successfully executed this project according to the client’s specifications and requirements.”