First Gulf will be starting the final work on the sidewalks around the G &M Building starting next week - this includes slightly raising it along King Street (here the stores are) to provide level wheel-chair friendly entrances.
Even at ground level this building lacks any kind of interesting or well-considered detailing, and the mechanical vents on the top "box" appear to be an afterthought. There's just nothing to focus your eye on. Even when going for a fully-glazed expression, it's beneficial to introduce different qualities of glass, touches of texture such as metal extrusions or - my personal architectural fetish, the reveal. But here we have none of that.
Its proportions are clumsy and the streetscape along King Street is completely unsympathetic and out of scale with the rest of the street - in fact I would argue that everything between Yonge and Berkeley is fairly consistent and even newer buildings along King East feel "in place" until you reach this jarring part of the streetscape. (I can excuse something that doesn't "fit in" in many places, but King East I cannot. And it doesn't stand out in any way that benefits it - just a blank two-storey glazed facade with not one point of interest to justify it.) It would work in the Financial District but not at this intersection on the Corktown end of King East.
I'm a big fan of massing that shows a clear programmatic "stacking" or shifting, and I love the visual effect of a massing that consists of stacked boxes. But it's not handled nicely here - the proportions feel all wrong.
The effects created by the highly reflective glazing are interesting, but that's simply not enough. I wish I could like this, but count this as yet another Diamond+Schmitt miss for me.
I think what frustrates me with this project is how the parti/concept is strong and even a mildly better effort could have created something so much more interesting. But instead they made it as clumsy and bland as possible. Interesting from a distance is not enough - you need interesting detailing to make a project successful, in my opinion.
This complex now has a National Bank, Royal Bank, CIBC and BMO. Scotiabank is across the street. All they need is to get the TD into the spot on King and they'll be done. This area went from absolutely no banks east of Church not that long ago to every major Canadian bank.