• Fish Exchange

St. John’s, NL

This project started as a blank slate with the shell of a space in an existing modern building.  The designer and owner sat down early on and brainstormed about what type of restaurant would fit.  The building sits right next to the habour in a space that was once the fish market, so a restaurant that focused on fish seemed like a logical choice.  The idea for the Fish Exchange was born.

The restaurant’s interior draws from the heritage of the site to give a distinct atmosphere from the building in which it sits.  By scouring the city archives, the many past lives of the site became more clear.  A lot of what was found in the archives has been used within the interior framed or applied directly to the wall.  After the fish exchange, but before its current use, there was an office building on the site.  In fact, it’s where former premiere Joey Smallwood wrote two volumes of his book.  The same corner where he sat is named “Joey’s corner” in the restaurant.

The material palette includes antique carpets, reclaimed oak and modern tiles that echo patterns from homes “around the bay” or outside of St. John’s.  On average a restaurant goes through a complete overhaul every 5 years.  The owner, an experienced restauranteur, therefore had many elements from previous spaces.  We helped him re-use elements from those restaurants and modified them to suit the Fish Exchange’s ambience.  All of the furniture is arranged to take advantage of the beautiful views further connecting the new restaurant to its place.

STATUS: Completed 2016
SERVICES PROVIDED: Architectural Design, Interior Design
BUDGET: undisclosed
PROGRAM: Restaurant
SIZE: 5,000 ft2 (462 m2)
DESIGN TEAM: Mechanical and Electrical Engineering – Stantec
CONTRACTOR: Magna Contracting and Management
PHOTOGRAPHY: Crockwell Photography