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High-rise with metal façade was designed by the community

A new planned high-rise building with a metal façade, planned on the corner of the intersection between Church and Wellesley in Toronto, Canada, was designed by Copenhagen-based architecture firm 3XN, with input by the community.

The building was designed with 6 principles at the bases, established to reflect the neighbourhood’s concerns and ambitions: pride in the village (the intersection lies in the heart of the city’s LGBTQ community), open and accessible to everyone, artistic and cultural activities, small scale retail, bold street treatment, and celebrate the intersection between Church and Wellesley.

Following the roundtable discussion that defined the key principles, 3XN came up with 7 unique conceptual designs for the development’s podium. These 7 concepts were brought to the second consultation in February and comprised of various aspects that could be discussed, debated and refined during the community engagement process.

At the third meeting on March 23rd, two refined options for the podium concepts were revealed, presenting a combination of favoured elements from the 7 initial designs, along with a proposed plan for the tower. The corner of Church and Wellesley is a central public space of the neighbourhood, and the building has to recognize, embrace, and celebrate that.

The building took inspiration from the two streets it is connected with. Church Street has low-rise and retail buildings, while Wellesley Street is residential. The tower is divided in 4 separate masses. Stepbacks above the 8th, 13th, and 19th floors create distinct volumes that create a transition between the base volume and the tower element while shifting much of the massing towards the centre of the development site. Topping off at 153 meters (495 feet), the tower’s exterior consists of an alternating pattern of solids and voids, clad in a combination of architectural metal panels and vision glass.

Photos: 3XN