A portion of the marble bar and custom cement tile floor of the Drake One Fifty.

A Toronto Icon Expands With Custom Cement Tile

The street sign of "Drake One Fifty" in Toronto, Canada.The Drake Hotel has become a cultural hotspot of Toronto, known for art, music, and a fun atmosphere. When they decided to expand, they turned to the London office of the Martin Brudnizki Design Studio to define the look of “Drake One Fifty” (named for its location at 150 York Street). In March, Zagat listed it among “Toronto’s 10 Hottest Restaurants“, applauding Brudnizki’s work as, “a beautifully designed space with plenty of eye candy“.

The fun dining room of the Drake One Fifty, tied together with a custom cement tile floor.

This project shows the great flexibility of cement tile to help bring a designer’s vision to fruition. It’s very common to create custom pattern molds for clients, whether reproducing historic patterns, bringing new designs to life, or tweaking existing designs to taste. In this case, we were able to go a step beyond, and had our Moroccan facility create two brand new shapes. First, an elongated hexagonal shape mold was created, then a matching triangular mold was created to form the keys of the layout pattern.

A photo shot on the factory floor in Morocco, showing several of the custom hexagonal and triangular cement tiles in their final arrangement.
An image sent from the factory floor in Morocco.

For those interested in the production of cement tile, here are several images showing one of our master artisans creating the custom hex tile.

Cement tile production. The Artisan is clamping the custom hexagonal shape mold to the mold's base.
Mold Assembly
Cement tile production. The Moroccan artisan is inserting the cement tile pattern mold into the shape mold.
Insert Pattern Mold
Cement tile production. The artisan is pouring the color layer of wet cement into the mold. One region will be filled with white pigment, the other with black.
Pour Color Layer
Cement tile production. The pattern mold is removed, showing the wet color layer of the black and white tile.
Remove Pattern Mold
Cement tile production. dry cement is sifted into the mold on top of the color layer, the tile is constructed with the surface down.
Add Body-Layer Cement
Cement tile production. The artisan levels the cement in the mold with a straight edge.
Leveling
Cement tile production. The artisan places a cap that fits snug into the mold, before putting the mold into the hydraulic press to compact the cement into a tile.
Cover and Press
One of our Moroccan master artisans displaying a freshly-pressed custom hexagonal tile. The elongated hex is black and white, in two color regions bisecting the hexagon along a line between the most distant points.
Displaying the Tile

Simply put, Drake One Fifty’s interior is near-perfection…

View the Vibe

 

A portion of the marble bar and custom cement tile floor of the Drake One Fifty.

With the Drake One Fifty, Toronto can now claim to have one of the coolest restaurants in the world.

Le Travelist

The dining room of the Drake One Fifty in Toronto, Canada, with an emphasis on the custom cement tile floor.

…a bit of Queen West style and culture plunked down in the middle of Toronto’s financial district.

Post City

The dining room of Drake One Fifty, with Green leather chairs, red leather booths, and black, white, and gray custom cement tile floors.

In the process of creating this solution, we proposed several variations of this Venetian mosaic theme in standard square and hexagonal formats. We loved them all so much, we produced one of them with our Venetian Collection, 8″ Treviso. 8″ square cement tile is the most economical format, and this smaller scale is more suitable to residential surfaces.

A layout of nine Treviso pattern tiles, 8
8″ Treviso, In-Stock
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