Face to Face/Tête à Tête creates a place for shared conversation along 44 feet of roadway. With two unexpectedly long tables (13 and 16 feet), flanked by continuous benches and wrapped with planting, this is a place for concentrated community conversation, animated inside the words Face to Face/Tête à Tête dynamically projected over all of the surfaces – bench, planters, tables, and deck. With only six feet of width overall, the narrow striking blue and orange room promotes both intimacy within the bustle of King St., and deliberately intensifies the conversation. Shaped like boomerangs, one table angles toward the street, and one toward the sidewalk, subtly inviting participants to the table angled to watch the passers-by on the sidewalk, or to hail to those on bike and streetcar. The table is a central focus recalling big family dinners – promoting larger collective/community gathering, yet the narrowness allows for individual occupation, co-working, musing, lunching, and dreaming.
This parklet was one of two permanent ones installed as part of the King Street Transit Pilot, a project in downtown Toronto to enhance public space, improve transit efficiency, and refocus the street to pedestrians. This is one of two projects were selected in an open competition for permanent parklets.