Lily Donald recently graduated from the Bachelor of Interior Design program at Humber College. Her professional design interests focus on the hospitality, corporate, residential, and healthcare sectors, in addition to temporary installations. Her work has been published in Canadian Interiors Magazine and the Humber Libraries Repository. Outside of school and work life, Lily is a hobbyist photographer and seasonal artist.
JOURNEY is an LGBTQ2S+ lounge club and event space located in the Queen St. West neighbourhood at 21 Ossington Ave. The challenge that this design is addressing is the lack of dedicated queer spaces and research in Toronto. This is a new type of community-based environment and hospitality space in Toronto that operates both day and night. The client of Journey is Yohomo, an online platform dedicated to the arts, culture and nightlife of the LGBTQ2S+ community in Toronto.
The concept of this space is inspired by the physical and metaphorical essence of a shell and represents a new and inclusive LGBTQ2S+ hospitality venue in Toronto. Becoming a new home and safe space for those of the queer community, users can create their own journey and experiences. The venue allows users to transcend into a new mindset and physical realm with the insurance and safety of self-expression. The design of the space mimics the physical qualities of a shell, while the mood and feelings are represented metaphorically.
The floor plan was designed to encourage movement as users follow the shell-like floor pattern on the main level. The dining spaces are located on both sides of the event space for views of the stage. The kitchen has access to both dining spaces and is close to the back of the building and side alley for garbage disposal and deliveries. Off to the side of the event space, there are places of rest with acoustic wall panels inspired by the grooves in a shell. Both floors have a universal washroom, and all washrooms are gender-neutral with designated lounge areas. Currently, because of COVID-19, a venue like this would not be open for the bar or restaurant, however, if there were small, private gatherings within the limit, users would be able to walk in a one-way circulation on both levels taking social distancing measures into consideration.
The section shows the vertical connections within the building. All events and rooms focus around the central event space.
The event space can be used for both day and night functions. The flooring in the event space is made of various limestone tiles that create the shell pattern and draw people into the centre. The raindrop lights on the ceiling and the recessed floor lights change colour and can be synced to the music to move and shift with the rhythm. The second level bar has a fibreglass structure that acts as a shell within a shell and socialization. The bronze floor inlays represent fragmented pieces of shell and act as wayfinding and circulation. In areas of rest, the metal is clustered which indicates that the users’ Journey through the building has come to an end, like a fossilized shell in the ground. Toronto queer-made artwork is displayed in the lounge to initiate community engagement and have queer voices and work part of the design.
The journey begins at the entrance, as users are guided through the first level bar, dining area then end up in the event space. Go up the stairs to the second level where users walk around the opening, can sit at the second level bar or private lounge space.