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issue 38 - June/July 2017
CURVE magazine cover June/July 2017
Inspire  Project  


Mexican Memories in Toronto

Multi disciplinary studio +tongtong recently designed Torteria San Cosme, a Mexican sandwich shop in Toronto's eclectic Kensington Market. Principal designer John Tong worked closely with his client Arturo Anhalt to bring his childhood memories of Mexico into the 700 square foot space. With this objective in mind. Torteria San Cosme evokes the vibrant color, playfulness and authenticity of Mexican street food stands.

Walking into Torteria San Cosme, visitors are immediately struck by a cacophony of color. Patterned tiles and hand painted signs clash perfectly with a vivid, large mural covering an entire wall, while an awning of multi hued webbing cantilevers over the take out counter. " We wanted to play with this idea of a stall within a space, " explains Tong. " In Mexico and Central America, a lot of street food stalls are in larger buildings. There will be 10 or so inside a market, all individually contained."

Continuing along on this idea of a space within a space, Tong designed the awning to mimic the structure of a traditional puesto (street food stand.) The awning is made industrial nylon strips weaved by hand through chainlink fencing. Underneath, the take out counter, which doubles as spot for diners to eat their tortas (Mexican sandwiches), is peppered with hand painted signage by Hamilton based artists BrushBoys. This hand painted quality continues via the large scale art mural.

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