Major Tom Restaurant

Frank Architecture + Interiors designed Major Tom Restaurant as a current yet timeless vintage-meets-modern destination with distinctive style and personality.

  • area / size 7,858 sqft
  • Year 2022
  • Location Calgary, Canada,
  • Type Restaurant,
  • Taking cues from the sophistication and glamour of a bygone era, the restaurant design channels the past into the relevant future. The subtle and well-considered details harken back to the late 1960s, a time when elevated restaurants were a destination serving the ultimate cross-section of society. The underlying tone is inspired by Truman Capote. Known for his biting humour, quick wit, deep insights, and ability to party harder than anyone else; he was a gourmand, a bon vivant, a savant, and he captured the voice of the era perfectly. Major Tom is at once elevated and approachable, playful and at ease, confident and gracious.

    The design is an exercise in restraint. The carefully curated interior serves as an understated backdrop for the astounding 40-floor views of the cityscape and majestic mountains beyond. Indirect soft cove lighting throughout sets the mood and highlights the existing unique cast concrete ceiling geometry of the 1970s building. The lounge is sexy and mysterious. Plush bespoke seating, rich tones, warm leathers, and dark wood lure you in for cocktails and conversations. The classic bar inlaid with exotic stone and bronze detailing creates an elegant focal point.

    Design Challenges
    The location of the project on the 40th floor produced unique challenges including limitations on material sizing as all materials and equipment had to be transported by a loading elevator. This challenge was overcome through innovative design, and strong communication and problem solving between the contractor, trades and design team. The design team had to anticipate the limitations on access to the space and thoughtfully design millwork details to accommodate. Many items, such as millwork banquettes, were designed to be constructed in smaller sections and assembled on site.

    Due to the era of the building (1976), the existing floor-to-ceiling height was low. In addition to this, there were large existing concrete beams spanning across the ceiling. The design team and mechanical consultant had to work closely to achieve thoughtful and careful placement of mechanical systems to maintain as much height as possible in the new finished ceiling. The existing beam layout was expressed rather than hidden, and the beams were clad in wood finishing to create intimacy and warmth in the space.

    Design Results
    Located 40 floors above the heart of downtown Calgary, Major Tom is a sophisticated, timeless, and transformative space. Design details were carefully considered to create subtle nods to the late 1960s, creating an immersive and unforgettable dining experience. The understated, yet glamorous interior of rich textures and warm tones serves as a backdrop to panoramic views of the city and the mountains beyond. Classic detailing and craftsmanship are at once elevated and approachable and creates a sense of being transported in time to a bygone era.

    Design: Frank Architecture + Interiors
    Photography: Chris Amat