4 Toronto Projects That Just Won Urban Design Awards
The City of Toronto handed out its 2015 urban design awards earlier this month, highlighting projects and practitioners that do public realm best. Here are four commercial developments that earned honours.
1. Market Street
Locations: 118 The Esplanade, 8 Market St, 10-12 Market St, 87 Front St
Developer/owner: Woodcliffe Landmark Properties
Design team: Taylor Smyth Architects; Goldsmith Borgal & Co (heritage)
What the jury liked: This redevelopment of heritage buildings into a restaurant row demonstrates architecture and public realm “working together thoughtfully and humanely.” The streetscape seamlessly integrates roadway, sidewalk and concealed drainage, and restored facades plus a new addition on the southeast corner create a building collection that serves commercial tenants, residents and visitors "equally well."
2. 60 Atlantic Ave
Location: Liberty Village
Developer/owner: Hullmark Developments
Design team: Quadrangle Architects; Phil Goldsmith Architects (heritage).
What the jury liked: Deemed a “thoughtful example of adaptive reuse,” 60 Atlantic—27.5k SF of open-concept office space and 12.5k SF of retail/restaurant, including a new brew pub—augments a designated heritage building (built in 1898) with a “strong, surprising contemporary intervention,” the panel said. And a sunken courtyard activates the level below ground and provides an “unusual and pleasant spatial experience.”
3. Delta Hotel Toronto
Location: 75 Lower Simcoe St
Developer/owner: bcIMC, GWL Realty Advisors
Design: Page + Steele / IBI Group Architects; Champalimaud Design (interior)
What the jury liked: The tower’s “sculpted form” and the “random patterning” of its facade panels delighted the judges, who found it a “pleasing contrast to nearby buildings on the skyline.” The hotel makes a strong contribution to the burgeoning South Core’s public realm, with “uncommonly wide sidewalks” on all sides, “well-detailed patios” for the hotel’s restaurant, and careful handling of driveways and pedestrian entrances.
4. Fashion House
Location: 560 King St W
Developer/owner: Freed Developments
Design: CORE Architects
What the jury liked: The 12-storey condo is “modernist in its architectural language, but generally respects the existing street wall of 19th-century brick warehouses,” said the panel. The new building, coupled with a skilfully knitting together of the heritage building, restaurant entrances and the condo's front door, creates a “strong sense of place.” Wide sidewalks and walkways around the property are welcome additions to an increasingly dense King West.