Challenging projects require creative solutions, and there were challenges aplenty with the construction of Gusto 501, a recently completed landmark-type restaurant in Toronto, Ontario, Canada’s historically industrial Corktown neighborhood. With
the look of a weathered industrial building outside and the vibe of a classic Italian restaurant in, the unique structure is clad with insulated metal panels from Kingspan Insulated Panels – North America.
Gusto 501 was envisioned to provide a high-end dining experience with seating for hundreds. The first challenge for PARTISANS, the project’s architect, was fulfilling that requirement in a lot so narrow that the architects only choice was to build
up rather than out and ultimately led to creating a multi-level experience that includes one of the largest operable glass facades in the world.
Site restrictions were not the only issue for the architect however, as the Canadian winter was fast approaching. PARTISANS needed to choose products that checked multiple boxes and make decisions that worked toward achieving various objectives.
“When we made a design move, it had to solve for three or more challenges in such a tight space. We had to be very clever, very strategic to maximize all space,” said Jonathan Friedman, partner at PARTISANS.
Maximizing space was not just about fitting as many seats as possible inside the restaurant. With buildings on both sides, the construction site was cramped. The staging area for construction was a small parking lot. That’s partly what led PARTISANS
to insulated metal panels and ultimately Kingspan. After extensive research, the firm chose Kingspan’s KarrierPanel and MF Fire Rated insulated metal panels. The decisions helped maximize the interior space of the restaurant and met safety requirements.
Kingspan’s KarrierPanel is always a time saver compared to multi-component wall systems. By using it, installers were able to seal the building envelope in a matter of weeks, shielding the inside from the harsh weather destined to come. The Kingspan
MF Fire Rated panels have an R-value of 3.6 per inch per ASTM C518 @ 75˚F, while the KarrierPanels have an R-value of 7.2 per inch per ASTM C518 @ 75˚F. Both panels integrate seamlessly with a shared joint.
“It’s always a race against the clock. We knew that once the steel went up, we could get the building enclosed really quickly,” explained Friedman.
The panels also allowed the architect to display a key aesthetic design element. Gusto 501 successfully combines an industrial look on the outside with a rustic Italian flair on the inside. To achieve this look, architects combined the KarrierPanel universal
wall system with an external façade that mimicked a weathered look. The weathered steel on the outside allows Gusto 501 to pay homage to the industrial look of the neighborhood, while the terracotta interior is reminiscent of the roofs in Italy’s
“We envisioned this as being part of the neighborhood fabric,” said Friedman.
Gusto 501 was completed within 18 months, with insulated metal panels playing a key role in both the construction and the look of the restaurant.