More Refinements Made to Frank Gehry-Designed Towers in Toronto
More refinements have been made to the Frank Gehry-designed towers proposed for Toronto’s Theatre District, indicating the King West project is starting to take shape.
The project, which has been years in the making, will see two towers rise at 260 King Street West, with the western tower serving as the tallest Gehry-designed building in the world at just over 1,000-ft. The neighbouring eastern tower will trail behind shortly, standing at 874-ft.
The new updates were revealed at an online community meeting organized by the City of Toronto this week, with the developers and the 91-year-old, Toronto-born architect, in attendance no less.
The proposed development has seen a number of revisions since it was first proposed in 2012 — including David Mirvish selling the project to the Great Gulf Corporation, Westdale Properties, and Dream Unlimited in the fall of 2017.
The most recent refinements made to the project would maintain the height and density allowances that were approved in a 2017 zoning by-law amendment, while architectural drawings submitted to planners in December 2020 show the towers are seeking heights of 84 and 74 storeys with the mechanical roofs, approximately 308 and 266.5 metres to the top of their respected parapets.
The latest amendments also seek to “enhance the podiums and optimize the floor plates,” while the façade of the heritage Anderson Building at 284 King Street Wes would be incorporated into the podium.
Updates to the building’s exteriors have also been proposed and would consist of energy-efficient materials with a “unique textured metal and glass façade,” that would undoubtedly look striking amid the Toronto skyline, especially as the sun sets and the light reflects off the shiny surface of the towers.
If all of the refinements are approved by the City, the mixed-use building will house 2,087 condo units, with plans for retail, commercial office space, a potential hotel, and facilities for OCAD University.
“With this project, I wanted to create an ensemble of buildings that were respectful to the city and referential to the Toronto that I once knew,” says Gehry in a release.
“I wanted the two towers to each have their own personality, but I also wanted them to talk to each other, creating a dynamic and changing addition to the skyline depending where you were viewing them from in the city. The detailing of the exterior is intended to give the buildings a human scale and hopefully reflect the light and colour from the city and the sky around it. In the end, this should be a building of Toronto that I hope will make the city proud.”
It’s been an honour to be a part of the team behind the evolution of the #GehryToronto towers. Last night we had the opportunity to hear from Frank Gehry who is proud to be working on this city-defining project back in his hometown. @greatgulf @DreamUltd #WestdaleProperties pic.twitter.com/uqkFlbyHbS
— Bousfields Inc. (@BousfieldsInc) February 10, 2021
Gehry, a world-class architect by any measure, has accomplished more than most in his lifetime, including major additions to US skylines such as Los Angeles and New York. But the 91-year-old is probably best known for the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain.
However, the Gehry project on King West has yet to be fully approved, so it could still be some time until we see the ambitious towers change the Toronto skyline.
As for next steps, the latest changes will be brought to the City’s Committee of Adjustment for approval.