Atelier 688's warehouse loft in the Queen West district of Toronto is "an alternative to the commonplace idea of gallery as a white cube," as owner Alexander Jowett says.
Jowett, who began as a photographer, writer, and artist, wanted to take the idea of a traditional French salon (the atelier) and include art made of vintage and reclaimed materials. Atelier 688 has grown to include a design team of specialists that works in lighting, metalwork, woodwork, often using vintage materials. The team designs everything from lighting to snowboard benches to aviator map pillows; and custom furniture and full interiors.
Above: The Kayak Chandelier (The Whaler) is made from a 1940s 11-foot kayak and features red cloth-covered wiring; $3,500.
Above: The White Heat Reindeer and Baltic Birch Pendant Light was designed by Atelier 688's Alex Jowett and Mike Greenwood. Inspired by the Sami people of northern Lapland and their dependance on reindeer herds; $900 each.
Above: The Manila Rope Lights measure 12 feet long with a 1.5 inch diameter and can be hung from the ceiling, tied in clusters, or plugged into the wall; $395 each.
Above: The gallery's interior features a tented area made by draping canvas over a trio of tall ladders.
Above: The Original Manila Rope Lights are available in 12-foot sections and are wired to 300 volts (suitable for EU ceiling wiring). Each light (shown above are two lights wrapped together) are $450.
Above: The rope lamps can be used outdoors.
N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on May 17, 2012.