Designing an Iconic Modern Destination

Stratus Bar & Restaurant

Project Photos

The Toronto Athletic Club occupies three of the top floors in a Toronto-Dominion Centre tower. Stratus, the bar and restaurant of the ‘Club Above’ in the heart of the Financial District, needed a renovation that would transform a dated, unmemorable interior into a destination befitting the iconic modernity of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s Toronto-Dominion Centre architecture. The desired ambience was elegant yet relaxed: the space would be rented out for events such as weddings, but at the same time the club’s owners wanted members to put on casual clothes after a workout and feel comfortable dining there. The owners also sought a design that would make it possible to hold multiple concurrent events.

In less than 3,000 square feet, the design team created a versatile sequence of varied yet aesthetically unified zones. From the elevator, a spectacular view to the exterior opens up through the central bar area, while lattice-like bronze metal screens with mirrors inserted into them layer a veiling of privacy over seating areas on either side of the space. A 90-degree turn leads into the dining area, which can be subdivided into two rooms and/or closed off from the bar by pivoting doors. A 10-seat private dining room partially enclosed by curving, bottle-lined glass screens adds to the range of spaces.

Prior to the renovation, Stratus was a members-only venue serving breakfast, lunch and early dinners. Now open to the public, and open later in the evening, its revenue has doubled.