Studio Gang has been commissioned to design their first project in Canada, a mixed-use tower that will be located in the Toronto neighborhood of Yonge + St. Clair. The project is one of several commissioned by Toronto’s Slate Asset Management as part of a larger effort to revitalize the district through the use of public art, world-class design and vibrant streetscapes and open spaces. The area’s first intervention, an 8-story mural by renowned artist Phlegm, was completed last summer.
“Yonge + St. Clair is on its way back,” says Brandon Donnelly, Vice President of Development at Slate Asset Management. “Having occasion to bring Studio Gang’s first project in Toronto to the neighbourhood signals to the rest of the city that we would like to create something special here.”
The new building will consist of primarily rental units, with retail space at grade, and will follow Studio Gang’s focus of research, engagement, sustainability and the innovative use of materials. The architects will work with Slate to host a public consultation later this spring to allow the community to contribute input prior to submitting designs to the city. While the design of the building has not yet been finalized, several key considerations have already been identified, such as the introduction of a new material into the Toronto skyline.
“It’s not going to be a typical all-glass tower,” says Donnelly. “We want to push boundaries in terms of sustainability and building efficiency, which means we are thinking carefully about the building envelope and its materials.”
With access to both an abundance of transit options and verdant green space, Yonge + St. Clair serves as a meeting point between natural and built environments. This duality will serve as a key inspiration for the project.
“There is a hill that crests at Yonge + St. Clair, which means the build site acts as both a pedestal and a view terminus from way uptown,” Donnelly continues. “The challenge will be to develop a building worthy of being showcased, but we feel confident that we have the right team in place to do just that.”
The announcement comes as Studio Gang Founding Principal, Jeanne Gang, is set to receive a 2017 Honorary Fellowship from the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) in May. Gang will be honored in a ceremony at the RAIC/OAA Festival of Architecture in Ottawa, where she will also deliver the festival’s keynote address.
“As our practice’s relationship with Canada grows, we’re excited to explore Toronto and to understand the unique DNA of the Yonge + St. Clair neighbourhood,” says Jeanne Gang. “We hope to design a building that will strengthen relationships within the neighbourhood and the city.”