No Fear of Heights
Thursday, March 13th, 2014
By Amber Gibson
Photos by Robert Stefanowicz
With its 30-foot ceilings and full-height Palladian windows, Vancouver’s heritage protected Waterfront Station would be an intimidating location for many interior designers. However, Robert Clark, the principal partner at CLO Design, was inspired by the neoclassical architecture from the building’s 1914 construction as the Pacific terminus for the Canadian Pacific Railway. For Rogue Kitchen & Wetbar’s design, he bridges the gap between the historic landmark that the station once was and the modern transportation hub for trains, ferries, and buses that it has become today.
“We wanted to accentuate the height of the space and create drama,” Clark says. His design objective was to create a warm, funky, and lively space. “We were a little irreverent in the overall design. The bar really makes that statement with a glowing resin back bar and huge chandeliers playing against the traditional envelope.” Full height rayon and nylon drapes also accentuate the ceilings, with a sheer layer screening light and acting as a counterpoint to heavier drapes with a woven scroll design.
Lighting was an important design element, and Clark had custom pieces created, including enormous chandeliers featuring traditional crystal arms and teardrop crystals sitting inside a ring of stainless-steel ball chain.
But with two levels and looming space, Clark wanted to create a sense of intimacy for diners by breaking up the restaurant into several smaller areas. A satellite bar called the Eastside Lounge is set against brick at one corner, with cooler tones quite different from the rest of the restaurant. This space can be closed off for private parties and also helps bartenders deliver drinks more efficiently. Clark was especially thoughtful of the restaurant’s flow of traffic since he specializes in hospitality projects: movable banquettes allow for tighter dining territories, and a private room under the mezzanine is perfect for bigger groups that want a cozy spot. On the mezzanine itself, backlit metal panels create an impressive glowing wall. “The space is highly visible from the outside streets,” Clark says, “so the mezzanine wall and chandeliers can be seen from blocks away—especially at night.”