Gusto 501

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Gusto 501

Client: Gusto54

Area: 6,700 ft2 (622 m2)

Budget: Withheld

Type: Commercial, Restaurant

Location: Toronto, Canada

Status: Under construction

In 2015, Gusto 54, the restaurant group behind Toronto mainstays Trattoria Nervosa, Gusto 101, and Pai, as well as Felix in Venice Beach, California, approached PARTISANS with three Toronto projects: a new stand-alone building for Gusto 501 (501 King Street East); the gut renovation of a Victorian stand-alone house for Chubby’s Jamaican Restaurant (104 Portland Street); and the complete renovation of and third-floor addition to Yorkville’s beloved Trattoria Nervosa (75 Yorkville). 

The vision for Gusto 501—an east-side sister restaurant to the ever-popular Gusto 101 on Toronto’s west side—draws on two concepts: a repurposed “hyper-garage” that offers a twist on Gusto 101’s brand and houses an Italian restaurant built from the terracotta that owner Janet Zuccarini worked with in her youth while helping her family build homes by hand in Italy. The result of merging of these two disparate concepts is an innovative and exciting architecture that not only meets the client’s operational and financial requirements, but also extends that pro forma via enterprising design.

The hyper-garage is conceived of as a façade of glass panels that articulate upwards, like a garage. With the touch of a button, the façade opens up the entire restaurant to the street, offering al fresco dining in the warmer months of the year. Within the building, the terracotta performs triple duty: the bricks form a wall with acoustic properties that will also be backlit, becoming a dramatic structural light sculpture throughout the space that glows like the embers of a
wood-fired oven. The design features and layout make for a venue that is as much about a premium dining experience as it is about culinary performance and community

Gusto 501 is envisioned as a community catalyst in a developing area of Toronto. Its ambitious architecture was designed and detailed in BIM, and is scheduled for completion in 2018.