Hariri Pontarini Architects shared with us their project One Bloor East, a 753,968 sf residential project in Toronto, Canada. The 687 units are currently under construction. You can see more images and architect’s description after the break.
Positioned at the south east corner of Yonge Street and Bloor Street, this notable site sits atop two converging subways lines and marks the eastern threshold into Canada’s premier shopping district; making it one of the most active and prominent intersections in the city of Toronto. The Northerly corners of the area were re-developed in the early 1970’s, but failed to celebrate the importance of this destination by locating the retail below grade; effectively turning their back to the street. Redeveloping this site with the goal of increasing density while contributing to the public realm with new connections to transit, street level retail and improved pedestrian thoroughfare is the source of both the constraints and opportunities which form the project.
The new building is the instrument which restores the urban experience of the street, while signifying the corner as a landmark location. The building is comprised of a street level podium with retail and commercial space, and a 65-storey residential tower with sculpted undulating balconies. Carving into the existing zoning envelope, the six-storey podium terraces away from the street as it stretches northward; dissolving the corner mass and preserving the existing street scale. This allows the tower to be present at the intersection without dominating the area and permits south light to penetrate to the street below.
The undulating curved balconies produce a façade that possesses duel qualities of playfulness and control, and dramatically contrasts the surrounding modernist high-rises to the north. The interior core maintains a more regular form to avoid compromising the suites, and serves as the backdrop from which the curving facade emerges from. The fritted glass balconies pinwheel around the building; increasing in size for the preferential corner units, while capitalizing on view and light. The flowing lines of the facade will carry through to the sloped rooftop above, and stretch out into the podium below; marking key entryways into the building.