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Second call for submissions to design rooms at Toronto’s Gladstone Hotel


July 27, 2005
by Canadian Architect

This past winter the Gladstone Hotel embarked on an ambitious project. Artists were invited to submit designs for guest rooms at the hotel. Hotel management and staff were so pleased with the results that they would like to open up the call for a second round of artist-designed rooms to be finished in time for the Gladstone’s grand reopening in early December.

The Gladstone Hotel is the oldest continuously operating hotel in Toronto. Architect George Miller, who also designed Massey Hall, built the Gladstone in 1889. The location of the hotel, just east of Dufferin on Queen Street West, was once considered the western edge of Toronto. The Gladstone Hotel has been described as an example of “unabashed architectural exuberance” utilizing details from the Greek, Romanesque, Gothic and Renaissance eras. The building was purchased by the Zeidler family in 2002 from the previous owner who had handled operations since 1964. The hotel has been gradually restored to reflect the building’s architectural history. The Gladstone has 52 rooms available as hotel rooms and studio spaces for artists and guests.

The Gladstone Hotel is now inviting artists to submit concepts for the design and implementation of one of the hotel’s guest rooms. The nature of the art scene in Toronto is a collaborative one, and it seems fitting to develop the design vision through a collaborative process. Please note that the term “artist” is used broadly here to encompass a number of disciplines and includes interdisciplinary, self-taught, hand-made/craft-based art and design practitioners, including architects. This is a project for individual “artists” or collaborative teams; design firms, businesses, galleries and institutions will not be considered for this application. The Gladstone is looking for individuals to contribute personal vision to this collaborative project.

The purpose of this project is to provide unique and comfortable rooms for guests coming to stay in Toronto’s downtown core. The neighbourhood atmosphere and historic setting make the Gladstone a very special landmark that will be the cornerstone of guests’ experience here. When you are thinking about your room, please consider that someone else will be staying in it. Part of the romance of a hotel room is that anyone can inhabit the room and make it their own. Consider the notion of creating an environment rather than an installation when planning your room. The parameters of the project are to create a room based on your vision but conforming to the needs of a hotel guest. The objective is a functional hotel room, and all objects inside must be easy to clean and maintain. Rooms must be unique but affordable, please be mindful of economy of materials. The lifespan of the room is expected to be 5-10 years minimum. Durability in both style and structure are essential.

General room layout, furniture and amenity requirements, and bed frame specifications for each room can be found at www.gladstonehotel.com. Bear in mind that each room is unique in size and shape, and the requirements may not all be appropriate to each individual room. These changes will be discussed on an individual basis. Again, the major focus is that the objects in the room be functional, practical, durable and serve to satisfy the needs of the average hotel guest.

Proposals are due August 05, 2005 at 9:00pm. Notification of acceptance will be conducted on August 12, 2005.

For full details and submissions guidelines, please visit www.gladstonehotel.com. Specific questions about this application or parameters of the project should be directed to Suanne McGregor at the hotel’s main number of (416) 531-4635 ext. 7107 or at suanne@gladstonehotel.com.

Please address all proposals to:

Attention Suanne McGregor
Gladstone Hotel
1214 Queen Street West
Toronto, Ontario
M6J 1J6



Canadian Architect

Canadian Architect

Canadian Architect is a magazine for architects and related professionals practicing in Canada. Canada's only monthly design publication, Canadian Architect has been in continuous publication since 1955.
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