Following recent news that a pair of Distillery District developments have been settled at the OMB, new renderings have been released that reveal a revised design for 60 Mill Street. Cityscape and Dream Developments had previously proposed a 34-storey hotel and condo tower on the site with the Gansevoort Hotel as its tenant, however, the plan has since been shrunk down to a 12-storey, 40-metre (130-foot) building that has eliminated the hotel component.
The new use of the building is still undecided, with two options presented - that of either a condo or an office tower. If offices, the building will only be 10 storeys, but would still keep the same height and design as the condo option. The project features architecture from Montreal-based Saucier + Perrotte Architectes, who were also responsible for the design of the initial proposal.
The development will preserve the facades of the 6-storey Rack House 'D', an 1895-built heritage building currently occupying the site that is part of the original Distillery complex. The east and west facades will remain largely unchanged, however, the north and south facades will be heavily altered. Currently windowless, the north and south elevations will see new large rectangular openings punched into the wall at staggered locations.
On the ground floor, a large 4,450-square-foot (414-square-metre) retail or restaurant space occupies the west half of the building, facing onto Trinity Street with some Mill Street frontage. On the south side, a 900-square-foot (84-square-metre) heritage interpretation centre will open onto Mill Street, and will lead into the residential or office lobby, located at the southeast corner of the building. The kitchen and service spaces occupy the northeast corner of the ground floor.
Early renderings of the lobby space reveal an intriguing interior design of a three-dimensional timber grid adorning the ceiling and walls. The feature would be visible from the exterior, and must be meant to evoke the former use of the building as a rackhouse.
The remainder of the heritage building will be divided into either three or four floors depending on its use. If the building will house condos, then there will be four floors with roughly 12 units per floor; an office building will have only three floors, given the increased requirements for ceiling height.
At the roof level of the heritage building, the first floor of the upper portion will be given over to amenity spaces or offices, and may feature an outdoor terrace. The new portion of the building is set back three metres from the heritage facades on the west, south, and east sides, and features a distinctly different design from its historic podium.
The form of the upper portion is an undulating, boxy design resembling a pile of stacked rectangular tubes oriented east-west. The exterior finish will be of a "corten-coloured panel" that features several levels of gradation ranging from solid panels, to perforated panels, to fritted glass. The finish will give it a distinctive rusted colour, no doubt intended to match the reddish-brown bricks of the Distillery, as well as the orange metal panels of the nearby data centre.
Having cleared the first hurdle of their rezoning application, we can now take this proposal much more seriously as it finally inches its way toward reality after a long wait. We will keep you updated as the design inevitably evolves, but in the meantime, you can get in on the discussion by checking out the associated Forum thread, or by leaving a comment in the space provided on this page.