September 26, 2014

International Property Awards Winner – Six50 King

Six50 King

Six50 King has received a Highly Commended Award in the International Property Awards for the Residential High Rise Canada category.

Six50 King West was conceived to address the multiple goals and challenges of the developer and the concerns of the City and of local residents. The Developer wished to present a green high-rise residence that embodied light, glass, and transparency: the antithesis of the perception of energy-efficient homes. Green and growing horizontal details of hedging throughout the height of the buildings accent the modern clean character that this LEED registered building adds to this corner of older Toronto with its 220 condominium suites and six townhouses.

The project area is dominated by an old warehouse space that has been converted to offices and commercial establishments. The developer’s initial design called for two large L-shaped towers in this live and work zoned neighbourhood. However, after careful consideration of the site, the neighbourhood and the architectural vernacular, an alternative design solution was presented. Accommodating the Heritage building at the corner of King and Bathurst and the limited access presented unique concerns for an architect during the design process but an elegant yet efficient solution was achieved. The architectural nomenclature achieved addresses two unique streetscapes and each other.

We determined that two buildings with an interconnected lobby and exterior garden space made the best use of the L-shaped site. The massing evolved to be a series of stacked elements, almost in a Jenga-inspired design concept. A series of sharply articulated boxes, the grey brick and dark spandrel used for the project are common among other contemporary projects on the street. The local buildings are typical brick warehouses, early concepts showed a light precast for the exterior cladding, however, we eventually decided to go with a dark brick cladding to respond to the masonry vernacular of the neighbourhood. Although the choice of materials stands in contrast to the red brick of the area’s historic properties, the robust proportions of the new development echo those of the surrounding older properties.

The use of smooth manganese iron spot brick, low E-glass, LEED-certified for energy usage, highly insulated exterior walls, extensive shading for the glazing using balconies and terraces, a green roof, and stormwater vault. The boxwood hedges on balconies and terraces have built-in watering lines using the reclaimed stormwater.

Inspired by the back-to-nature aesthetic of the green movement, the developer describes Six50 King as a building that’s alive with green, not just concrete and glass. A re-imagined historical property wrapped in a boxwood hedge, Six50 King’s visual juxtaposition of old brick and new green shoots make for a contemporary, chic, as well as an environmentally friendly design statement. This LEED registered project which features a green roof will add significantly to the on-going gentrification of Central King West.