Boys’ and Girls’

When designing the washroom of L’Atelier, a tiny new members-only lounge in Toronto’s trendy King West neighborhood, Antonio Tadrissi had to consider two powerful constituencies: men and women. Tadrissi, one of the club’s owners, wanted both sexes to gather in the eight-stall bathroom and socialize at its communal mirror. “The idea behind L’Atelier is to be a Parisian apartment, or at least try to be like somebody’s home.”

So although the custom wallpaper shows primping ladies from the pages of a Coco Chanel book, other materials are “quite masculine,” he says. The blackened stainless-steel sink rests on CNC-milled maple legs finished in automotive paint; like most of the club’s furniture, it was created by Prototype Design Lab, Tadrissi’s design-build firm.

Despite early concerns that L’Atelier’s exclusivity would make it an Old Boys’ club, relative gender parity has been achieved. “I had a call from my manager last week,” Tadrissi recalls. “He said, ‘Tell some of your guy friends to come because there are way too many women here.’”

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