Would You Use a Storage Locker as a Venue?

Architecture studio Raw hosted its design-industry bash in a highly unusual location.

By Carolyn Grisold July 10, 2014, 1:00 PM EDT

Miniature plywood houses were suspended from the ceiling, and guests could explore the interiors.

Photo: Bob Gundu

Raw Materials
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Planet Storage in the Junction Triangle played surprising host to Raw Material, an annual celebration of architecture and design hosted by architecture studio Raw on June 25. Some 11,000 square feet of storage locker space was transformed into a showcase of materials that represented the cityscape of Toronto: wood, masonry, glass, metal, and fabric.

“We [wanted] to create an atmosphere where people [have] the opportunity to play with these building blocks,” said Roland Rom Colthoff, director of Raw. “We really wanted to demonstrate all the ways these deceptively common materials interact with our everyday lives.”

Kim Graham & Associates helped bring that vision to life with an interactive event created from a blank, concrete canvas. The bar alone was constructed with scrap metal and 3,000 bricks, while catering by Sublime Catering continued the event’s theme, using raw materials to present each dish. Menu items included cedar-smoked trout, roti cooked on raw irons, and hot pot served in oversize glass containers. Ricotta cheese was hung in fabric from the ceiling, along with miniature plywood houses in which guests could stand. With the entire party acting as a venue, a playground, and an installation, challenges were unique.

“We enjoy setting the stage by uncovering locations that have not been used before and creating experiences that can’t be duplicated,” said Kim Graham, principal of the production firm. “Transforming a blank, concrete storage locker on the railway lines into an illuminated playground of installations may be no easy feat, but it creates a visceral experience that resonates with our guests long after the party’s over.”

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