TABLE ROCK WELCOME CENTRE
Situated at the precipice of the Falls, Table Rock Welcome Centre is a notional “hub” that allows one to appreciate the awe-inspiring, brutally magnificent, cascading natural wonder. The design inspiration for the project, comprised of retail spaces, central circulation hall, an up-scale restaurant, and fast casual dining, is steeped in the rich cultural history of the site and the awesome beauty of the surrounding natural environment.
The design brief outlined a series of spaces intended to offer world-class natural, historic and authentic experiences, built around Niagara Parks’ core values of sustainability, education, inspiration and innovation.
A key element of the design concept included preserving and showcasing the rich heritage, culture and lifestyle that has been built around the Falls, while supporting a dynamic business environment. The objective of the renovation is to elevate the retail and hospitality experience inspired by the history and natural wonders of its location, creating spatial narratives with metaphorical forms and details to engender a memorable experience.
Table Rock Centre functions as a portal through which one engages with the essence of Niagara Falls, the design concept is to evoke both the history and the natural wonder, threaded through the interior spaces by notions of thresholds, restoration/re-creation and metaphor. This was achieved by imbuing the interior spaces with details and design elements that are evocative of both the natural and the historic.
For example, the restaurant and the main circulation hall (“the River”) with their natural materials and flowing forms suggest the organic; the retail area within the original Table Rock House is a re-creation and revealing of the more orthogonal, historic architecture.
TABLE ROCK HOUSE RESTAURANT
The Table Rock House Restaurant on Level 2 is focussed to enhance a dramatic, immediate and expansive view of the Falls. The entrance was reconfigured to connect the visitor with a prolonged view of the Falls as they land on the dining level via an extended ramp. The radial configuration of the dining and bar areas result in every seat having a dramatic view. Reflective ceiling surfaces conceal low ceilings and in context have the impression of being “wet”. To draw a visual link between the restaurant and the Falls, coloured lighting is subtly utilized as a reference to the iconic nightly colour- changing illumination of the Falls. The use of natural materials, such as stone, wood and indigenous planting, draws the exterior environment indoors, while custom-designed interior elements such as screens and furniture, including tables, benches, banquettes and bar, impart upon the diner the ambience of an up-scale culinary experience with an immediate view of an epic natural wonder.