Recent and ongoing high-rise development has had a profound effect on North York's Yonge Street corridor over the past few years, and while much of this development has been situated south of Finch Avenue, new projects like Ghods Builders' 5959 Yonge are gearing up to bring revitalization to the blocks north of Finch. The fraternal twin-tower complex, which is to be built at Yonge and Cummer Avenue, will measure in at 43 and 31 storeys tall, with Kirkor Architects Planners design.
The development will have a major impact on Yonge Street between Finch and Steeles Avenues, as well as the surrounding neighbourhood. Ghods Builders founder Ghasem Ghods and Kirkor Architects paid close attention to how the design of the development speaks to its surroundings. “The fact that this will be a ‘statement’ development on Yonge Street had a major influence on our design,” said Clifford Korman, principal at Kirkor. “While this is a very complex site, we knew we had a great location and the opportunity for major urbanization that will lead the way for future intensification in the immediate area.”
Part of the challenge in designing a high-rise development on this site was making sure that there was a smooth transition in height and density to the stable low-rise residential areas situated to the east and north. Considerations were also made for the development's Yonge Street frontage, which will be the site of a new canopied pedestrian area for shopping and dining.
The taller of 5959 Yonge's towers will be made up of three distinct sections, clad using a combination of glass and precast, offset with metal panels to create a pattern of squares of black and white and solids and voids. The building's base and mid-section will transition into a large special feature called the ‘Sky Atrium’, which will be cantilevered out from the side of the building two thirds of the way up the tower on the 32nd floor. This green-glass clad atrium garden will contain social/amenity spaces for the development, including the "Chai Room", which is being specially designed to foster interaction between residents. “The Atrium will provide outstanding vistas and views right down Yonge Street to downtown,” says Korman. “This is a green lounge in the sky that everyone can participate in. It will be a key signature element of the building which will separate it from other buildings.
Interaction between residents is being stressed as a key element by the developer and architect, with an aim to create a vertical community as opposed to a conglomeration of homes in the sky. To achieve this, a wide selection of both indoor and outdoor amenity spaces are being included in the development, like an outdoor green roof, lounge, theatre, fully equipped fitness centre, social hall, private kitchen and dining areas. The development will also offer sports and fitness related amenities like a multi-use LED court (the first of its kind to be installed in a condominium), a bowling alley, yoga/pilates studio, reflecting pool and media centre.
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