In Montreal, the W hotel’s old Otto restaurant is gone, and in its place is a new eatery and gallery called ê.a.t (which stands for être avec toi, or “being with you”) that features art works from a variety of talents.
Sid Lee Architecture, the firm behind the interior design, collaborated with MASSIVart to incorporate pieces by a dozen local artists, including Stikki Peaches, What is Adam, Jason Cantoro and Jean Labourdette. The result is a sleek setting – with a central stainless steel bar set inside a giant framelike enclosure – filled with graffiti-inspired wall murals and bold canvases, sculptures and installations.
Darth Vader, Batman and Montreal Canadiens players stare out from the comic-book-like collages on the walls, columns and communal table, and the washroom sink resembles a giant can of maple syrup. Fleur de lys motifs decal the windows and ribbon paintings cover the rounded walls that provide a cozy nook for the high tables.
In the next six months, restaurant patrons will watch as such other artists as Alan Ganev, Botkin, Bonar, and Labrona create new works on a white canvas.
The firm, which is known for its boundary-pushing ideas that are inspired by art and cinema, wants the restaurant to be ever-evolving. “For ê.a.t., we chose to showcase art. We imagined a minimalist design, like a white canvas, and let the artists create a collaborative work of art,” explains Jean Pelland, an architect and partner at the studio.