For ten consecutive years, Vienna ranks first in the Mercer survey on cities with the best quality of life in the world. In this edition to the global ranking, eight Western European cities join the top ten, even when "trade tensions and populist undercurrents continue to dominate the global economic climate", as Mercer points out in its report.
Toronto: The Latest Architecture and News
3XN has released details of its plans for T3 Bayside, the first office building in Toronto’s emerging Bayside community, and the tallest timber office building in North America. Located on the shores of Lake Ontario, the structure stands at 42 meters in height and serves as part of the 2,000-acre revitalization initiative to transform Toronto’s waterfront.
The scheme is designed to reflect and emphasize the emerging neighborhood in which it sits, intertwining principals of life, work, and play. A continuously-activated ground level is abundant with retail opportunities, bleeding into a central plaza, exhibition spaces, flexible office spaces, and coworking facilities.
Danish architectural firm COBE has designed a new mixed-use affordable housing development in downtown Toronto. Working with architectsAlliance, the team has designed three buildings that contain over 760 market rental units, 30% of which are affordable. Sited in one of the fastest growing areas of Canada, the new community project is designed to achieve LEED Gold certification. The development aims to combine spaces for recreation, living and working.
Alphabet-owned Sidewalk Labs is testing a "raincoat" for buildings, a prototype tensile structure that's made to make extreme weather more comfortable. Created as part of the Quayside smart city project in Toronto, the raincoat structure aims to help protect from wind and rain while lowering energy demands on buildings. Designed by Toronto-based RWDI and Partisans, the prototype debuted at Sidewalk's 307 office. Made from a thin plastic membrane, the raincoat will remain up for one year as teams test its performance.
Six “Winter Stations” have been installed along Toronto’s beachfront, injecting new life into the shoreline during the Canadian city’s winter months. Completed as a result of the annual Winter Stations design competition, the six projects responded to this year’s theme of “Migration,” which sought installations that engaged with “complex social issues that surround humanity’s shaping of our global society, the flight of animals and the exchange of ideas."
Four professional and two student designs were constructed this year along Toronto’s Beach community. Bold structures sitting on the site of lifeguard stations dotted along the beach, the stations have been designed by teams from Mexico, Poland, Boston, and Toronto.
Sidewalk Labs has released new renderings from Snøhetta and Heatherwick Studio of the Quayside neighborhood development in Toronto. After announcing plans to create a model smart city, Sidewalk Labs has been working to pioneer a new approach to future urban developments. Plans for Quayside were first revealed last summer, designed to be interconnected smart neighborhood for the city. The latest renderings were released with further documents outlining how the company plans to pay for the ground-up development.
Winter is hardly the high season for Toronto's waterfront. Nevertheless, the annual design competition Ice Breakers aims to draw people back to the outdoors, populating the frozen harborside with installations celebrating the winter. This year's winning designs are currently on show, centering around the theme "Signal Transmission."
For a third year in a row, Ports Toronto and the Waterfront Business Improvement Area (WBIA) partnered to produce this 2019 exhibition. Out of hundreds of international submissions, the winning designs include an illuminated starlight house, kaleidoscopic mirrors, and arches of bells, now on display until February 24.
See all five winning installations with descriptions by the architects below.
Five years ago, Raw Design, Ferris + Associates and Curio founded the Winter Stations Design Competition to bring innovative design concepts to Toronto’s beaches in the winter months. This year, four designs were selected from hundreds of submissions and will be joined by two student submissions to dot the beachfront alongside vacant lifeguard stations.
The six successful design concepts explore the concept of “migration.” This concept was internalized by each team who generated six unique and original designs that explore contemporary social issues, political issues, and the human condition surrounding “migration.” From their investigations, each team brought a design to the seasonal waterfront, drawing people to the beach and inviting dialogue.
Bjarke Ingels Group has revealed new images for their King Street West condo community in Toronto. The development was formed as sets of pixels extruded upwards to create space for housing, retail and boutique offices. The concept was made to avoid the footprints of heritage buildings that already exist on site. The latest renderings revealed both interior and exterior images of the striking new development.
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.
BIG’s “unzipped wall,” which served as the 2016 Serpentine Pavilion in London, has been opened to the public in Toronto under the new title “Unzipped.” Having been transported to the city and rebuilt in collaboration with Westbank, new photographs by Derek Shapton show the completed pavilion standing as a temporary place of showcase and events in downtown Toronto.