The Four Seasons Hotel, located between Cumberland and Yorkville Avenues, at Avenue Road, has been a Toronto landmark since its completion nearly four decades ago. The architecture is reflective of the 1970s Brutalist style, defined by an extensive use of concrete and solid geometries. The relocation of the luxury hotel chain to the new Four Seasons Hotel and Residences created an opportunity that no developer could pass up; The New Residences of Yorkville Plaza, developed by Camrost-Felcorp will breath new life into one of Toronto's most iconic addresses.
Yorkville Plaza will retain much of the 31-storey building, with most of the changes occurring on the interior. Former hotel rooms will be converted into a variety of suites, offering residents the choice of a more traditional style, or a thoroughly contemporary interior. Interior design firm The Design Agency have created spaces of understated elegance, with clean lines, inviting colors and a variety of textures.
The Brutalist style of architecture is not everybody's favourite. Often chastised as cold and monolithic, others appreciate its celebration of its own material make-up. Buildings such as the Manulife Centre and Robarts Library characterize the style. Camrost-Felcorp decided to bring back the building's original architectural firm, WZMH Architects, to re-vitalize the structure. A two-storey glass podium on Avenue Road will replace the imposing driveway currently on site, and will actively engage street-level pedestrians with retail, replacing the existing below-grade retail. Whether you like the style or not, these buildings are reaching the age necessary to become protected heritage structures, making it increasingly difficult to tear them down; it will be interesting to see how WZMH goes about preserving and re-using the building, providing an example of how we may be able to approach future projects involving similar buildings.
Rumours have been circulating on the project's forum about the zoning review submitted on September 30th earlier this year. The review calls for the re-zoning of the hotel to mixed use, but also for approval to construct 2 additional towers of 10 and 39 stories. These towers would include two floors of retail with residential above, plus five levels of below-grade parking. No word yet from Camrost-Felcorp or WZMH Architects, however the map below shows the current site, with the area in blue showing where we think the towers will most likely be placed.
The project is expected to be complete in 2014, and we're looking forward to hearing more from the developer as to how the two new towers will fit within the project. Check out the dataBase listing below for more renderings, and keep your eyes peeled for more information on the project forum page here.