12 Degrees shortlisted for the World Architecture Festival Awards

Housing Category – Completed Buildings

Now in its ninth year, The World Architecture Festival Awards is the largest international gathering of architects consisting of an awards, conference, and exhibition. This year’s festival will be held for the first time in Berlin from November 16th to 18th. 12 Degrees has been shortlisted in the housing category for completed buildings. This time is the second in the past three years that we have be shortlisted for the awards. The first was in 2014 for Six50 King.

12 Degrees

12 degrees was designed as an urban infill project, fitting into the context of a mixed use residential area where the city block has buildings that include both the Art Gallery of Ontario and the Ontario College of Art and Design.

The design can be read as analogous to the stacking of toy blocks, with one of the blocks skewed at 12 degrees from the others. The building mass has been broken into a base and a tower.

The base of the building is three-stories high and is composed of townhouse style units that relate to the existing adjacent Victorian homes. The townhouses repeat themselves in a series of glazed window bays and stone clad piers, that make reference to the Victorian roof peaks and projecting bays. The base opens up at the corner to expose the glazed main entrance and lobby. There is a hovering canopy of wood that signifies that this is the public part of the building. The tower is fully glazed above the base and is composed of three parts that playfully shift back and forth from the building orthogonal grid. There is one portion three floors high that is skewed 12 degrees. The skewed portion twists away from the corner above the main entry, helping to lighten up the building massing in that area.

We also used the stepping nature of the building massing to reduce the impact of the building on the neighbourhood, shadowing was reduced and the building transitions down in height from 11 floors to three floors adjacent to the existing houses.

Built on a compact 36-meter front by 31-meter deep urban site on Beverley Street, 12 Degrees consists of a three-storey glass and ledge-rock clad base under an eponymous rotated glass-clad mid-section, all topped by a cantilevered glass penthouse. The bold massing holds its own with its arts and cultural district neighbors such as the Art Gallery of Ontario and the dramatically cantilevered Ontario College of Art and Design. The design also fits with its other neighbours.