The Royal Hotel, Picton, Ontario

Giannone Petricone Associates Inc. Architects, Toronto

Photography by Graydon Herriott

Giannone Petricone’s renovation and adaptive reuse of a dilapidated Victorian railway hotel built in 1881 boosts Prince Edward County’s reputation as a foodie destination. In the fine-dining room, the firm wittily reinterpreted the traditional ornate plaster Victorian ceiling rosette as the underside of a mushroom 22 feet in diameter. From the colossal gills, translucent ceramic pendant lights descend like dew drops. The treatment not only celebrates the agricultural spirit of the area but also addresses the challenge of giving the historic structure’s limited ceiling height a loftier feel. With a mere 12-inch depth to work with, the sculptural feature interrupts the ceiling plane to enhance the sense of height and space. Additionally, the grand mushroom acts as a palate cleanser, distancing the restaurant from the building’s historic British roots and connecting the indoor space to the terraces and gardens in the landscape.