The Ace Hotel is that rare Toronto building — that is, it’s not a condo. Designed by Shim-Sutcliffe Architects for the distinctive international hospitality brand, the brick-clad beauty should also be described for what it is: a solid addition to the city, with details that are both grand in scale and meticulously executed. It is, inevitably, a place of culture, featuring furnishings and artwork from local talents, a mezzanine bar destined to become a convivial hub and a dinner destination by renowned restaurateur Patrick Kriss. Most importantly, it is a place — a real place that feels of a piece with its surroundings.
The Ace Toronto is one of the stellar projects we feature in this issue dedicated to new institutional and commercial architecture. Another inspiring story you’ll find in these pages is Vestre’s just-opened manufacturing plant in Magnor, Norway: While its form is attention-grabbing (this is a project by Bjarke Ingels Group, after all), its execution is thoughtful, inside and out. It bills itself as the most environmentally friendly furniture factory in the world. But what makes it even more impressive is that it’s a phenomenally transparent project, open to visitors and programmed with public spaces and events.
In this issue, we also spend time with Slava Balbek, a Ukrainian architect working to preserve the cultural monuments of his nation while it is still under attack by Russian forces. Alongside his ultra-sensitive activist work (which also includes feeding civilians and Ukrainian military forces), he’s thinking of the future, designing refugee housing that encourages community.
ALSO IN THIS ISSUE:
Q&A with Ukraine Architect Slava Balbek
The founder of Balbek Bureau is working to preserve the cultural monuments of his nation while feeding civilians and Ukrainian military forces and designing refugee housing that encourages community.
Best of Milan
The rebirth of Salone del Mobile and Fuorisalone saw a bustling fairgrounds and hundreds of offsite events – we present the most spectacular moments from the design mecca.
Spotlight on Kitchens
Inspiring projects (including this beauty in Ontario cottage country by Paolo Ferrari) and new systems that evolve the most important space in the home.