PHOTOGRAPHY & TEXT HANS FONK

There are few hotels in the world in which the kitchen is the place where guests prefer to spend their time. The Templar Hotel in the Canadian city of Toronto is such a place. Here, luxury and a laid-back lifestyle merge seamlessly together, the focal point being Monk kitchen, where executive chef Roberto Fracchioni conjures up a succession of wonderful dishes with apparent ease. The Templar Hotel was conceived by Rhed design’s Del Terrelonge, who co-founded and owns it with his partner John Wee Tom. Rhed design is well known, amongst others, for its ‘Rhed built by Poliform’ and ‘Rhed built by Fontana Arte’ collaborations. With its 27 suites, all furnished in different ambiances, the hotel has become an attraction for the international design world and entertainment industry. Everyday life flows effortlessly into spontaneous parties: a place where design works.

The Templar Hotel Corporation is a 9-storey hotel with 8 storeys above grade and 1 storey below grade, consisting of 27 suites. The building, right in the heart of Toronto, is a reinforced concrete flat slab structure with perimeter beams, reinforced concrete columns at each corner and reinforced concrete centre core walls. The external wall cladding is prefinished metal on structural steel studs with fixed aluminium double-glazed windows. It is the brainchild of Toronto-based designer Del Terrelonge, who co-founded the hotel with his partner John Wee Tom.

Through the expertise of international designer, Del and luxury travel authority John Wee Tom, the Templar Private Hotel was created and designed to be a truly distinctive, visually minimal, subconsciously eclectic and surprisingly spacious luxury hotel. The collaboration has been a labour of passion, driven by a genuine belief that a uniquely modern, elegant, cutting-edge and intimate space combined with gracious, attentive ser-vice would fill a void. When Templar manager, Andrew van Buskirk, told us that good things come in small packages he wasn’t joking. The Templar is packed with lots of design features.

The hotel is smart and contemporary without being pretentious. The jewel in its custom-made ‘Rhed built by Poliform’ crown is the Monk Restaurant in the basement. The LED wall panels are made to give the impression that plenty of natural light is shining through the etched glass, which keeps the general mood uplifting. The restaurant – territory of chefs Roberto Fracchioni and Mark Richardson – is modelled on a traditional Japanese-style eatery where guests are encouraged to mingle at a communal table. But for those who prefer to sit alone, the chef’s table in the kitchen is open around the clock.

Reminiscent of a museum of unlikely design, here techniques become reality while the innovative hotel concept stems from an eye for detail that borders on obsession.

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