June 2, 2015

IIDA Award Winner: Vancouver Grill by CL3 Architects

Nothing motivates like a deadline. With the Youth Olympic Games heading to Nanjing, China, last summer, work resumed on the long-stalled multi-use tower housing the Fairmont Nanjing.

So Toronto-based Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, taking the new start as a prompt to rethink the food and beverage offerings, brought CL3 Architects in for several of the hotel’s restaurants. Families visiting the sky lobby, up on 37, now also find the casual Vancouver Grill serving tastes of North America, with an emphasis on beef straight from the flames.

To recall a fire’s heat, rising in waves, senior associate Jane Arnett explains, acrylic paneling was cast into undulating lines. (Then the Fairmont team added the wooden Canadian maple leaves.) Other moves are merrily bovine. Wing chairs and throw pillows sport hairy Holstein hides. And dangling on wires from the double-height ceiling, throughout the 2,900-square-foot L-shape space, are lengths of beige acrylic recalling horns.

These “horns” are illuminated by halogen beams from fixtures installed on the ceiling. It’s clad in blackened stainless steel, used in lieu of mirror for safety’s sake. Holes for the wires were drilled in the stainless panels when they were fabricated. Hanging heights could then be tweaked in situ. “We can get mock-ups done more easily in China,” Arnett says. “That reduces the risk of trying different things.” 

Project Team: William Lim; Anya Wu; David Lam.

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