Toronto’s Rolex boutique wows with dynamic façade

This Rolex boutique in Toronto features a dynamic, wavy façade in CNC-cut limestone created by local architecture studio Partisans

Rolex boutique in Toronto wavy facade
(Image credit: Doublespace Photography)

The new Rolex boutique in Toronto has opened its doors, showcasing a dynamic, wavy façade courtesy of locally based architecture studio Partisans. The store design is as visually striking as it is architecturally ambitious, occupying the ground level of a modernist architecture high-rise on the city’s coveted shopping strip, Bloor Street. 

Rolex boutique in Toronto close up of window

(Image credit: Doublespace Photography)

Behind the wavy façade of the Rolex boutique in Toronto

Partisans, headed by Alex Josephson, is no stranger to experimental, eye-catching designs. The studio’s impressive Canvas House, also in Toronto, stands out in a similar way through its woven brick frontage. With this latest project for a Rolex boutique for their client, Royal de Versailles Jewellers and Burnac, the team used a CNC parametric composition that has been etched into the façade's limestone cladding through an algorithmic design developed in collaboration with computational designer Arturo Tedeschi. 

Rolex boutique in Toronto illuminated evening shot

(Image credit: Doublespace Photography)

Making the most of cutting-edge, digital technologies, Partisans creates parallels through its design with its client's heritage in high-precision craft. 

The team write: 'Against the steel of the modernist high-rise, the digitally fabricated limestones – sculpted fluidly – offer a magnetic juxtaposition. Integrated down into the mullions of the storefront, the rhythm of the columns recalls the patterns of a watch’s band links.'

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(Image credit: ©Rolex/Ulysse Frechelin)

Rolex boutique in Toronto close up of cladding

(Image credit: Doublespace Photography)

They continue: 'As the mullions trace down the exterior of the high-rise, they begin to slowly bend into subtle and graceful arcs that capture the essence between the existing structure and the distinctive Rolex geometries.'

Rolex boutique in Toronto interior

(Image credit: Doublespace Photography)

Meanwhile, inside, clean, luxurious and minimalist surfaces serve as the perfect backdrop for the Rolex watches within the custom displays – at the same time, cleverly allowing for spaces that cater to a variety of different functions, spanning both public and private shopping experiences. 

Rolex boutique in Toronto interior detail

(Image credit: Doublespace Photography)

Ellie Stathaki is the Architecture & Environment Director at Wallpaper*. She trained as an architect at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece and studied architectural history at the Bartlett in London. Now an established journalist, she has been a member of the Wallpaper* team since 2006, visiting buildings across the globe and interviewing leading architects such as Tadao Ando and Rem Koolhaas. Ellie has also taken part in judging panels, moderated events, curated shows and contributed in books, such as The Contemporary House (Thames & Hudson, 2018), Glenn Sestig Architecture Diary (2020) and House London (2022).