With the Oakville project expected to launch this year, the 5468796 Architecture-designed Lake & East Condominium Residences continues to attract attention. Envisioning a one-of-kind tower on the Bronte Village waterfront, the Engine Developments, Symmetry Developments, and Fortress Real Developments proposal is easily one of the region's more architecturally ambitious projects, which is particularly notable given its location well beyond Toronto's urban core. Under appeal to the OMB, the project recently passed through a pre-hearing in mid-December, setting the stage for a full review in June of this year. 

Lake & East Condominium Residences, Oakville, by Symmetry, Fortress RDI, EngineRendering of the project, image courtesy of Fortress/Symmetry/Engine

As mid-century towers already dot the Bronte Village waterfront, the scale of the project is arguably in keeping with much of the neighbouring built form. Nonetheless, the development was recommended for refusal by Oakville's Town Planning Staff, though a number of UrbanToronto readers and Forum members have greeted the avant garde design with a much more enthusiastic response.

Lake & East Condominium Residences, Oakville, by Symmetry, Fortress RDI, EngineWorm's eye view of the project, image courtesy of Fortress/Symmetry/Engine

Featuring an anodized aluminum exterior, renderings of the 20-storey, 144-unit tower show a living wall spread out across the body of the building. Inspired by the low-rise stretches of private homes and backyards to the north, the project cleverly translates the typology of individual backyards across a high-rise tower. Meanwhile, the building's angular massing also works to preserve views and natural light to the older, 17-storey high-rise that neighbours the site to the south.

Lake & East Condominium Residences, Oakville, by Symmetry, Fortress RDI, EngineThe local typology is translated onto the tower, image courtesy of 5467896 Architecture

Although the anodized aluminum exterior and living wall element—which the late John Bentley Mays argued would suffer in Ontario's cold climate—have attracted the lion's share of attention, the project's strongest impact on the community would probably occur at ground level. Replacing the parking lot and convenience store that occupies the site, Lake & East's public realm plan calls for an outdoor room to be framed by a permeable anodized aluminum façade. Three retail spaces are planned, as well as ample outdoor seating and new greenery, with the unconventional framing serving to create a more intimate ambiance within.

Lake & East Condominium Residences, Oakville, by Symmetry, Fortress RDI, EngineThe public realm, image courtesy of Fortress/Symmetry/Engine

The unconventional project is a characteristically thought-provoking work from Winnipeg's acclaimed 5467896 Architecture. Recognized as one of Canada's most innovative young design practices, the firm's work—which includes Toronto's planned 'The Tree House,' a project by the same development team—combines a willingness to re-interpret norms and established paradigms with committed, intelligent, rational design solutions. These qualities are evident at Lake & East, where the seemingly radical elements are underscored by a thoughtful design rationale, and sheer daring. 

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We will keep you updated as the planning process continues, and more information about the project becomes available. In the meantime, you can learn more by checking out our dataBase file, linked below. Want to share your thoughts? Leave a comment in the space on this page, or join the conversation in our associated Forum threads.