April 30, 2013

PUG Awards Nominations 2013

CORE Architects has been nominated for three PUG Awards this year, including Flat Iron and Work Lofts, 650 King, and 500 Wellington. This year will be the second that our designs have achieved recognition from the PUG Awards, and we are hoping that the nominees will achieve the same distinction as Seventy Portland and Argyle Lofts as PUG winners.

Since 2004, the Pug Awards has recognized the best in Toronto architecture and planning. Anna Simone, principal of the design firm Cecconi Simone, and Gary Berman, president of the real-estate financier Tricon Capital Group, created the awards. For these awards, they invite the public to vote on the best and worst of Toronto’s newest developments.

Flat Iron & Work Lofts

Developer: Lamb Development Corp.
Landscape: Juhan Marten Landscape Architect
General Contractor: 59 Project Management Inc.

These two-building complex anchors the Dundas and Carlaw corner in a predominate warehouse district. It is bisected into two, wedge-shaped parts by a former curving railway corridor that will eventually become a neighbourhood-landscaped space. Flat Iron Lofts is a ten-storey residential building, comprised of 106 units with retail at grade. Work Lofts is a ten-storey building with 153 live and work units.

The two buildings play with a modern interpretation of the warehouse vernacular. The rhythm of the brick piers and the window mullion spacing all contribute to the composition. The design allows the two buildings to play off each other with the curving convex shape of Flat Iron and the concave shapes of Work Lofts.

Five Hundred Wellington

Developer: Freed Developments
Landscape Architect: GH3
General Contractor: Accel High Rise Construction Ltd.

Conceived and designed to fill a high-end niche in the downtown King West District, these ultra-luxurious penthouse-sized loft suites provide for half-floor suites and full-floor units, each with a cabana terrace.

The challenge was to insert a very high-quality, exclusive condominium on a narrow, long infill site in a predominate warehouse district. The ten-storey building contains only 17 suites, which are either half floor or full floor occupancy, served by separate elevators that enter directly into the suites.

A major design directive was to provide substantial outdoor living spaces on terraces and decks, with floor-to-ceiling glazing where possible. The exterior materials palette was kept simple and elegant. The brick was a charcoal iron spot, the soffits were ipe. Black zinc was used as flashings and metal panels. The balcony guardrails were frameless, and the tempered glass and the exterior glazing were flush. Silicon glazing was also used where applicable.

The interior layouts, also prepared by the CORE, are spacious and uncluttered and emphasize the feeling of a “luxury of space”. The overall effect is a condo that engages the street with a playful façade on Wellington and also fits in with the massing and materials of the warehouse district.”

In 500 Wellington West, we tried to show that a condo, when built with quality materials and designed to maximize the indoor and outdoor experience of downtown urban living, can challenge one’s perception of what a condo can be.

Six50 King West

Developer: Freed Developments
Landscape Architect: Juhan Marten Landscape Architect
General Contractor: Tucker HighRise

Six50 King West was conceived to address the multiple goals and challenges of the developer and the concerns of the city and local residents. Inspired by LEED energy efficiency and the back-to-nature aesthetic of the green movement, Six50 King is an “L-shaped,” two-building complex that’s alive with green. The terraces and balconies are wrapped in boxwood hedge planters. This LEED registered project also features a green roof and a private landscaped amenity courtyard connecting the two towers.

Accommodating the heritage building and the limited access presented unique concerns for CORE during the design process, but an elegant yet efficient solution was achieved. The developer wished to present a green high-rise residence, LEED-certified, that embodied light, glass, and transparency, the antithesis of the perception of energy-efficient homes. The architectural nomenclature addresses two unique streetscapes and each other.

Six50 King is “Jenga” inspired by the stacking of glazed cubes in a series of sharply articulated boxes. The grey brick and dark spandrel used for the project creates opportunities for the planted terraces. The remainder of the exterior is clad in a dark charcoal brick, recognizing the masonry character 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.

Green and growing horizontal details of hedging apparent through the varying height of the buildings accent the modern clean character that this LEED registered building adds to this corner of older Toronto.