Pei Partnership Architects of New York have made public their initial renderings for a 56-storey condominium tower they are designing with Toronto's Quadrangle Architects for 2221 Yonge Street just south of Eglinton. The building, to be developed by Tower Hill Development Corporation, would replace a modest six-storey office building immediately north of Minto's Midtown condos.
Tower Hill is known for the classic International Style namesake towers to the southwest of the St. Clair Ave and Spadina Road intersection, and for the more recent Churchill Park Condominiums designed by Quadrangle. The Pei name is best known for work by the Pritzker Award-winning architect Ieoh Ming Pei, now 95, who designed the pyramid at the Louvre in Paris, the National Gallery East Building in Washington DC, the Bank of China Tower in Hong Kong, and here in Toronto the Commerce Court West tower, amongst other buildings. I.M. Pei's sons Chien Chung Pei and Li Chung Pei worked with their father until 1992 when they set up their own firm Pei Partnership Architects, and it is the sons who are designing 2221 Yonge. Pei Partnership have a long list of buildings to their credit worldwide and many awards.
Pei Partnership have laid out their intentions in regards to the architecture of 2221 Yonge. Some quotes:
"This project seeks to distinguish itself from Toronto’s ubiquitous glass towers by high-lighting the terraces as a unique design feature rather than as appendages to a large glassy mass. Cantilevered wrap-around terraces were utilized on the main tower to recall the elegant, luxury towers of Toronto’s celebrated modernist era."
The last line is no doubt a reference to the aforementioned Tower Hill apartments at St. Clair and Spadina.
"The tower breaks the idea of a standard box by canting three sides of the plan, thereby directing views around adjacent towers and creating a distinctive tower silhouette. The tower distinguishes itself by sitting askew from the six story podium to create interesting pockets of outdoor space around the amenity floor that sits at this juncture. The separation of the tower and the podium is furthered by the expansive use of double height glass, creating a transparent, light-filled amenity space between tower and podium."
"At the podium, the terraces are again celebrated, this time with long balconies faced with slotted perforations that stitch together the street-facing apartments across the facade. All this is outlined by a delicate stone-clad border, framing the apartments that seemingly hover above a continuous, clear glass storefront. Through this glassy ground floor façade, a long, extra wide lobby extends the entire length of the site to connect the front and rear entrances. The continuity through the site is further enhanced by a large sloped garden, visible from outside on Yonge Street, that greets visitors entering from the west."
The full descriptive text can be read on UrbanToronto's dataBase page for the project, linked below, which also contains higher resolution version of all of these images. The project is entering the approvals process and public consultations will take place later this year. We will keep our eyes peeled for more information as plans progress. Want to have your say? Comment on this page, or join in the conversation by choosing an associated Forum thread link below.