43 GERRARD ST. W.

MIXED-USE & MULTI-RESIDENTIAL

LOCATION: Toronto, Ontario

ARCHITECT: IBI Group Architects

DESIGN LEADERSHIP: Michael Poitras, Consultant-in-Charge of Design

CLIENT: G.W.L. Realty Advisors

STATISTICS:

  • No. of storeys: 43
  • Total floor area: 441,320 ft2 (41,000 m2)
  • Total height: 460 ft2 (140 m2)
  • Below grade parking: 340 stalls (including 12 barrier-free)
MATERIALS:

  • Curtain wall
  • Window wall
  • Flamed black granite walls & floors
  • Black zinc fascias
  • Composite wood decking
  • Glass guardrails
  • Tangerine painted DensDeck soffits
  • Outdoor landscaping
GENERAL PROGRAM:

  • Residential (rented)
    • 595 units (studio, 1, 2 & 3-bedroom units)
  • Indoor amenities:
    • double-height lounge/sitting area with fireplaces
    • screening room
    • games room
    • private function areas with kitchen facilities
    • fully equipped fitness room
    • yoga/aerobics studio
    • dog spa
    • sky-lounge (24th floor)
  • Outdoor amenities:
    • dining & lounge areas
    • children’s play area
    • landscaping with fireplaces
    • built-in barbecues
  • Ground floor retail
LEED: Silver
COST: $210 million
COMPLETION: 2018

Located at the southwest corner of Bay & Gerrard streets in downtown Toronto is this 43-storey high-rise rental residential project composed of two classic architectural parts, a retail “base” (with some residential units) and a high-rise “tower” above exemplifies modern mixed-use design.

The “base”, extending the full length of the site, is articulated as a continuously folded ribbon of black zinc fascias and tangerine coloured soffits, which visually merges retail and residential programs together. Set within this horizontal folded framework is a crystalline object made from butt-glazed low iron glass, whose vertical zigzag texture signals the building’s main entrance. Adjacent to it, is a pedestrian and vehicular “pass-through”, allowing people and cars to access Walton Street to the south as well as providing access to loading docks, underground parking and locked bicycle storage. At the base’s easternmost end adjacent to the “pass-through” can be found a solid black mass with shuttle elevators at grade, for accessing the underground parking and an overnight guest suite on the floor above.

The high-rise residential “tower” is expressed as three adjacent vertical materials, silver glass, dark grey glass and white fritted glass balconies. The section of white balconies, set between the silver and dark grey glass masses, behaves like a “reveal”, visually separating the vertical glass elements and giving the building a striking appearance. The combination of these three elements forms the basic composition of the high-rise tower.

Unlike classical tall buildings, whose tower tops culminate with a traditional architectural “hat”, this modern re-interpretation places the architectural focus at mid-point within the tower, in closer proximity to the street below. Here, the three vertical tower elements have been shifted sideways and combined with a highly reflective glass “sky-lounge”, interrupting the “tower’s” vertical expression and creating a juxtaposition of forms with numerous highly visible tangerine soffits.

At the intersection of “tower” and “base” can be found the majority of the building’s public amenities. Here, specialized tenant programs are placed both within the building and on the adjacent outdoor terrace. Being only six storeys above Gerrard Street, an intimate connection is made with the city below, capturing some of the best qualities of urban life.