Crosstown Block 1
844 Don Mills Road, Toronto
Developer: Metrus Properties
GFA: 260,290 sq.ft (commercial 233,859.ft./retail 7,426 sq.ft./daycare 10,516 sq.ft.)
Completion Date: TBD
Simplify the Massing
The Crosstown design proposal improves the previous scheme for this site in several significant ways.
In general, the goal of the re-design has been to visually simplify the massing of the building and
to improve the public space around the building. The new scheme emphasizes one simple rectangular massing.
This has been made possible by the removal of the second level daycare and rooftop outdoor space and removal of the retail space at ground level. This removal allows for a ribbon-like horizontal “datum”, sometimes functioning as a canopy, at the first floor level of the building. Spinning off the Retail into a separate pavilion has the added benefit of creating an urban space between the buildings and providing a visual separation from parking. The proposal also relocates the elevator/mechanical core to the centre of the office floor plate of the building. This has benefits internally to make more usable office space and better demising for multiple tenants.
Urbanistically, this significantly reduces the visual impact of the mechanical penthouse, since it is much less visible than the previous location at the periphery of the building volume. The proposed cladding for the volume is a unique skin of faceted glass panels. Because of this treatment of the façade, the building creates a variety of ever-changing visual effects from simple reflection to complex kaleidoscopic tableaus of the neighbouring built environment. While this artistic tour de force appears unique and highly crafted, it is in fact tectonically resolved as a series of panels that are based on the geometric clarity of a repetitive pattern.
At the building’s ground level, this faceted façade transforms into a canopy turn arcade. In place of the regime of patterned facets, longer panels of glass are extended horizontally. These panels provide overhead protection at the building entry and a sheltering edge to adjacent public space. Compositionally, in place of repetition, the overhead glass panels at ground level are inflected and visually composed.