Bar Raval

Bar Raval

Client: Grant van Gameren, Mike Webster & Robin Goodfellow

Scale: 1,980 sq ft (185 sq m)

Budget: Withheld

Type: Commercial, Bar/Restaurant

Location: Toronto, Canada


Carefully hewn from what look like unbroken Mobius strips of sinuous mahogany, Bar Raval is a 21st-century reinterpretation of Spanish Art Nouveau. The brainchild of celebrated Canadian chef Grant van Gameren, Raval introduces Toronto to the pintxo bar, a cornerstone of social and gastronomic culture in Basque Country.
In order to achieve a sculptural, almost sentient, aesthetic, we worked closely with our fabrication partner, MCM Inc., and the software engineers at Mastercam to innovate the milling process. Ultimately, we synchronized our efforts to develop customized toolpaths that would generate over 9km of engravings on 75 panels of wood.

The bar’s design pays direct homage to the physicality of its three owners. The result: A series of three-dimensional tattooed “limbs” that enfold patrons in a warm mahogany embrace. Passers-by can also admire the artistry—the handcrafted steel latticework we designed to clad the front and side windows. But like van Gameren’s mouth-watering pintxos, the filigree only offers a small taste of what lies within.