This article was originally published on ArchDaily on 13 February 2018.
The City of Toronto has a long, fraught relationship with development and vacancy. The map of the initial Toronto Purchase of 1787 between the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation and the British Crown, which would later establish the colonial territory that became Toronto, conceives of the landscape as a single, clearly defined vacant lot anxious for development. Or, as artist Luis Jacob better described it, “signifying nothing but an empty page waiting to be inscribed at will.” Over two-hundred years later, as housing availability, prices, and rental shortages drive vertical condominium developments in the city, the politics of the vacant lot have never felt so palpable.
Bjarke Ingels Group has received approval for their King Street West condo community in Toronto. Originally proposed in 2016, the development was made as sets of pixels extruded upwards to create space for housing, retail and boutique offices. The concept was formed to avoid the footprints of heritage buildings that already exist on site. Alex Bozikovic, architecture critic of The Globe and Mail, reports that the development is about to start sales as King Street West pushes past its latest development hurdle.
Sidewalk Labs has unveiled a new proposal for Toronto's eastern waterfront and a neighborhood development called Quayside. After announcing plans to create a model smart city in Toronto last fall, Sidewalk Labs has been working to pioneer a new approach to future urban developments. Plans for Quayside were revealed during a roundtable discussion on August 14, 2018. As the subsidiary of Google's parent company Alphabet, the team responded to an open call from Waterfront Toronto with a design that features heated pavements, large public spaces and mass timber buildings.
The two BIG-designed structures, located on opposite coasts, have both been recognized for their architectural innovation. The LEED-Platinum Vancouver House was awarded the World Architecture Festival’s Future Building of the Year in 2015, while the “unzipped wall” is the first Serpentine Pavilionto embark on a multi-city tour of this kind, before ultimately landing in a permanent home on the Vancouver waterfront.
Manifesting as a series of hexagonal modular pavers, the project explores the various patterns which can be created by reconfiguring modules, with a potential future “allowing a street to create an extra car lane during rush hour before then turning it into a pedestrian-only plaza in the evening.”
Studio Gang has released images of its first project in Canada, a mixed-use residential and retail tower at the southwest corner of Yonge and Delisle in Toronto. Intended as a “new model for sustainable urban growth,” One Delisle seeks to establish the Yonge and St. Clair district as a “vibrant, pedestrian-friendly neighborhood with thriving retail, welcoming open spaces, and world-class architecture.”
The scheme, which was designed in collaboration with WZMH Architects, is driven by a desire to integrate with the local urban context through adherence to existing grid patterns and retention of existing elements, and to provide extensive outdoor space at an important transit node in midtown Toronto.
Toronto-based photographer Ruta Krau has captured stunning photographs of the Andrews Building, one of Canada’s most noted brutalist buildings, and a celebrated part of Toronto's concrete architecture. Designed by John Andrews, architect of Toronto’s iconic CN Tower, the Andrews Building embodies the Modernist ethos of connecting with the surrounding environment, balanced above a ravine and emerging as a stepped pyramid from a natural ridge.
The downtown skyline of a city is perhaps its most symbolic feature. The iconic cityscapes that we know and love are typically formed by skyscrapers, but much of the surrounding context is made up of other high-rise buildings. Yes, there is a difference between a skyscraper and a high-rise. Research company Emporis defines a high-rise as a building at least 35 meters (115 feet) or 12 stories tall. These high-rise buildings play a major role in the more sprawled urban context of larger cities today.
Read on for Emporis' list of the 20 cities in the world with the most high-rises. You might be surprised by which cities made the cut.
As their entry in a competition for The Arbour, a new academic building for the campus of George Brown College on Toronto’s Lake Ontario waterfront, Montreal-based firm Provencher_Roy have revealed their design for an adaptable mass timber building that could grow and change in time.
Using a staggered truss structural system that divides the building into modular cells measuring 8.4 meters tall, 17.4 meters wide and 40 meters long, the firm explains that the stacked program elements can be reorganized as necessary, with classrooms and double-height auditorium spaces able to be converted to basketball courts or column-free open offices by adjusting the cross-laminated timber flooring, which can be adjusted without compromising the rest of the structure.