Located in the St. Lawrence historical district of downtown Toronto, Sixty Colborne is a 3300SF condominium presentation centre comprised of a sales area and a model suite created for Freed Developments. Inspired by the project’s location, the design strategy was to create a building of paradoxes: a simple form juxtaposed against a cacophonous context of massing, detail and colour; a building passive by day and active at night; and having a direct yet complex exterior and interior movement; a building that expresses the modern aesthetic preference of the Freed brand and its target market.
The intention was to create an architectural experience that engenders within the visitor a sense of detachment to the surroundings – a ‘simple, economical white, glass box’. By heightening one’s sense of movement and view, the presentation centre’s clients are reminded of the project’s central downtown location and the unique historical character of the neighbourhood. The design concept was to create a building that is both an apparatus for viewing and to be viewed. Strategies include “lifting” the building from the street and utilizing white as the predominant colour to contrast the interior from the exterior.
With the glass walls on the north and east sides of the building allowing views directly into the interior of the sales centre, one’s gaze is drawn in by a composition of abstract and whimsical elements facing Church Street and the model suite fronting King Street. As one walks around the building, the “architectural promenade” begins at the gentle ramp that leads to the entrance of the building and the reception desk. From the reception desk one has a view of St. James Cathedral - the interior of the sales centre functioning as a framing device focussing and defining the view. The visitor then proceeds past the lounge and a half-cylindrical acid-etched glass partition and into an intimate corridor exhibiting the “Builder’s Story”. From there the corridor gradually expands to an open area with a suspended panel displaying the suite plans and material sample finishes. The space then opens up into a gathering area that includes a glowing touchscreen monitor wall, an architectural model and a single closing table, all against the backdrop of the historic cathedral. The long and dramatic reception desk that becomes a closing table defines the spiral movement through the space. The positioning of the monitors, plans, materials and model are intended to assist the sales agents. From this open space one enters the model suite, a prototypical 600SF suite that includes living/dining, library, bedroom and bathing areas.
A passive, yet active building, by day the interior is a space of calm and repose juxtaposed against the movement and activity of the exterior. In the evenings the interior lights turn off automatically and a pair of projectors illuminate the clear glass walls (by means of a special film applied onto the surface of the glass), turning them into a projection screen where a video of the development plays. The model suite is also illuminated in the evening to attract one’s gaze.
Located in the St. Lawrence historical district of downtown Toronto, Sixty Colborne is a 3300SF condominium presentation centre comprised of a sales area and a model suite created for Freed Developments. Inspired by the project’s location, the design strategy was to create a building of paradoxes: a simple form juxtaposed against a cacophonous context of massing, detail and colour; a building passive by day and active at night; and having a direct yet complex exterior and interior...
- Year 2014
- Work finished in 2014
- Status Completed works
- Type Apartments / Multi-family residence / Tower blocks/Skyscrapers / Lofts/Penthouses