M City - Phase 2
980 Confederation Parkway, Mississauga, ON Canada
Rogers Real Estate Investments Ltd./Urban Capital Property Group
GFA 639,400 sq.ft.
To make a great place, architecture must have addressed many different scales of experience. At the large scale, a tall building forms part of the skyline of a city. So it is important to think about how it will fit harmoniously with what is already there, and also anticipates the future urban development around it. At the same time, there is the tactile scale of people walking and using and touching a building. The human scale is very important, and we think about ways for people to engage a building at the ground level.
We place a lot of importance on landscape and green space. As we all live in increasingly urban and dense environments, our link to the natural environment diminishes. We believe that reintroducing green space to urbanized places, both on the ground and in the air, is important for the well being of people.
These ideas figure largely in our proposal for Garden City- a tower podium strategy. This condo project offers an iconic tower recognizable on the skyline of the city, with a well-landscaped pedestrian environment and a generous south-facing outdoor amenity carved out of the mass of the podium.
Burnhamthorpe Road is a long thoroughfare lined with many different types of buildings. As an urban entity, its undifferentiated hodgepodge of many architectures is reminiscent of Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles. We understand the aspiration of Mississauga to carve out a special portion of Burnhamthorpe Road, and to make it an iconic and memorable downtown core.
Our project for Garden City addresses the ambitions of this nascent urbanism. We recognize that this site will play a key role in the formation of Mississauga’s urbanized centre. We believe it will be a model for intensification, by offering high quality amenities at levels of density that are new to Mississauga.
A downtown needs buy-in from people. They need to understand the vision. Architecture has a special role to play in communicating the vision. The downtown needs a noticeable augmentation of intensity. Demarcating key parts of the downtown, especially along an undifferentiated thoroughfare like Burnhamthrorpe Road, is important to this notion of augmented intensity. Also, a downtown core needs consistent building typologies that work together to make a coherent totality.
The transformation of Mississauga from a suburban community to a city in its own right with a fully developed downtown core will require the adoption of a set of urban guidelines. At this time, it is clear that the residential tower with a pedestrian retail-oriented base will be one of the key building types in the city’s kit. The challenge will be to make excellent architecture and great environments for people out each of the projects that conform to that typology.
Mississauga’s downtown core is off to a great start with the formation of the iconic East gateway featuring the acclaimed Marilyn tower. Now, the intent is to create a West gateway building to the downtown Mississauga, one that is also iconic but at the same time offers a differentiated architectural appearance to its iconic easterly counterpart.
In simplest terms, the project is a 56-storey tower on top of a six-storey podium. The tower has a special geometry that not only provides for excellent residential units but also contributes to the iconic role of this building on the urban skyline. The podium has a prismatic shape by virtue of its faceted glass walls, as well as a large rooftop amenity and green roof.
The tower for phase 2 is envisioned as being an ‘identical twin’ to the tower of phase 1. Rather than introducing a new material palette and geometry for the phase 2 tower we simply rotated the existing design 90 degrees. By doing this when one views the two buildings from any angle the short end of one tower and the long end of the other will always be visible at the same time. This approach is deliberately different from ‘similar but different’ twinning strategy exhibited by the Absolute towers at the eastern gateway to Mississauga’s downtown.
The tower’s unique appearance results from the rotation of the floor plates. There are 7 typical floor plate shapes (A,B,C,D,E,F and G), beginning with a rectangle (D) and skewing first towards one extreme (G), then skewing back through D to the other extreme (A). The corners of each plate floor plate shifts over 1m from the plate below. This is done with short shear walls that ‘walk’ along with the skewing and overlap above and below
Unlike other sculptural towers that sacrifice the livability of the units to achieve unique shapes, the precise geometric procedures we have used do not compromise the layouts of the rooms. In addition, continuous balconies made from translucent white laminated glass wrap every floor plate, extending the level of amenity in further. And, in terms of appearance, this outer layer of glass extends 300mm below the slab to create broad horizontal banding and give the building its characteristic form.
We highlighted the importance of how the building meets the ground. The environment it creates for pedestrian experience. A 6-storey portion of the podium has been designed to form the street edge along Confederation Parkway and Webb Drive. There is a 3-storey podium on the west and north sides to transition down towards the new future parks proposed in the master plan. At the entry plaza, a one-storey lobby has been extended to provide for a generous and welcoming entry. The ground level is rounded out with retail units, 2-storey townhouses and landscaping, in the interest of creating a lively and interesting pedestrian environment.
The ground level is marked by bold paving patterns that include various contrasting textures and colours shaped into dynamic angles and planes. Along with generous softscape areas and high quality street furniture and boulevard lighting, we envision an enhanced public realm that frames a variety of urban commercial and leisure activities appropriate for a downtown setting