Driven by her passion for inclusivity and human well-being, Sama strives to design spaces that are functional and flexible to meet various user needs. Sama’s focus for her thesis project was to design an inclusive space aimed at creating a comfortable and welcoming experience. Her love for interior design guided her through creating an interactive space that enhances user experiences through slow-food markets. Located at 415 Eastern Avenue within the Studio District of Toronto, AVENUE aims to provide a human-centred approach while addressing social needs.
The evidence-based design explored through the research phase indicated that hospitality and retail spaces have suffered as a result of the pandemic. More people felt the need to have something more than fast-food that can provide fresh, organic, and healthy meals without a long wait. Data shows that people wanted more spaces that provided these services and so the project took its own unique take on slow-food markets. Additional evidence shows that public spaces often do not cater to marginalized groups such as individuals with physical limitations, individuals with sensory processing limitations, and the LGBTQ+ community. The facility will cater to individuals that live or pass through the neighbourhood where the building resides at 415 Eastern Avenue. This model aims to bring hospitality and retail into a multi-use facility in order to create the ideal business model.
Throughout the journey of telling this story, the conceptual development for AVENUE was all based on looking at a space that was going to be flexible and that would offer movement through the experience. The approach taken towards this design focuses on inclusivity, diversity, accessibility, and comfort. Through the use of intersections, zoning, and various scales – movement through the space has been emphasized.
The basement level is where most of the building's restroom facilities are located as well as the BOH. The first level is where the market and bars are located. The second level is entirely the AVENUE restaurant that includes an event space as well as restroom facilities. The event space can be reserved at any time during open hours, and when it’s not in use it can be transformed into additional restaurant seating as shown here on the right. Furthermore, the entire floor can be reserved for parties or large events as well.
Section-cut through the first and second floor showing the Avenue feature wall and seating.
The following renderings show different areas of Avenue.