Toronto King Blue by Greenland | 155.75m | 48s | Greenland | Arcadis

There are seriously a lot of whack jobs on UT. Coltan mining in the Congo, really?

If you don't like the design, tell us why. Useless comments about market crashes add nothing to this forum (how about you say you really, really, really, really, really, don't like it or you could say it looks like "poo" like some of the other intelligent folks on here). Is it too much to ask to debate the architetural details of this project as they compare to projects that you do like?

I'm the whack job? Rich.
I honestly couldn't give a rats behind about Coltan mining, I was simply trying to highlight the absurdity of the post calling me out for apparently rooting for suicide.

Does this thing seriously need an in detail critique every time someone expresses how bad they think it is? They can't even make it look passable in flashy renders.

To start the towers are pretty simply, straight up with plenty of balconies. Utterly forgettable. The small indent up one corner for some more balconies could have been a defining characteristic if they played it up with some different materials. Royal blue cladding running up that strip would have been pretty daring and would have played in pretty well with marketing (King BLUE). The lack of its name-sake colour brings back memories of CrystalBlue. I guess it's more boring than offensive.

And sure the street level layout looks good (detail explanation in post #225), but the whole project still seems pretty lazy to me overall. I also have a personal disdain for black-brick, mostly because it's become so ubiquitous. The whole thing really is very dark and just seems oppressing to me.

So yes, a market slow down wouldn't be the worst thing. I think the greatest positive would be developers pushing architects for great design to be able to differentiate from the competition and attract buyers. Right now as long as you have a good enough location you can aim low on design and materials and you'll still manage to offload a ton of 250SF 1BDRs.

There, my 2 cents.
 
Not so coincidentally, since marketing on King Blue is now underway, we thought we'd sit down with Steve Gupta's of Easton's Group to see what he's about. Part one of the interview is now up on the front page with a bit of insight into who Gupta is.

Full disclosure: I am not a fan of what we have seen so far for the skyline presence of King Blue. The early renderings from the planning approvals stage show something that looks dated to me, and kind of clunky. We are waiting for the marketing renderings of the project now, and word are that there are changes. The question is whether the changes will be enough to satisfy UrbanToronto in general. (You can never make everyone happy here of course, but you can take the temperature of a room, and so far, the reception room for this one's pretty chilly.) We have been promised that the renderings will be ready in time for Part Two next week.

At ground level, this project makes great sense to me. The interior courtyard seems extremely well thought out, and there will be retail in abundance along the sidewalk surrounding the project. Some people will be particularly interested in what Gupta has to say in Part Two concerning that. We already know too that the CanadianTheatreMuseum is going in on the first and second levels here too, and that the podium will contain another boutique hotel, brand still to be determined. (Gupta does a great job with his hotels.) Anyway, the street realm of this project is so good that I'm hoping that we will be happy with what we see going up into the sky too, so fingers crossed for big improvements.

In the meantime, while it is not said explicitly in the interview, Steve Gupta is possibly the warmest, most personable guy we have ever sat down with. We've had quite a number of talks now with all sorts of interesting people, several of them quite charismatic, but boy, does this guy ever radiate goodwill and optimism. It makes perfect sense for him to be in the hospitality industry as he obviously understands how people want to be treated, the type that after an hour with him you want to tell your friends 'hey, I met this terrific guy, you gotta meet him…' And now, despite my unease with what we've seen so far with the towers, I am rooting for this project (as long as in the updated plan the towers aren't too clunky - please please please!).

So there you go, we wait with baited breath. Read Alex Corey's interview on the front page.

42
 
ICw3G.jpg


Um...me?

I knew that seemed familiar...

[video=youtube;mgfuGWAD66U]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mgfuGWAD66U[/video]


As for this project, I'm glad they're keeping the heritage building, but the quality of the towers has taken a huge nosedive. It's really unfortunate.
 
Can someone explain to me why developers keep giving Page+Steele work? Are they actually cheaper than firms like aA, Wallman, KPMB, Hariri Pontarini, Teeple, Core, D+S, etc? Are their "designs" cheaper to build? What's the attraction exactly?
 
Can someone explain to me why developers keep giving Page+Steele work? Are they actually cheaper than firms like aA, Wallman, KPMB, Hariri Pontarini, Teeple, Core, D+S, etc? Are their "designs" cheaper to build? What's the attraction exactly?

Eh...not my favorite firm but they've done some decent stuff.

Ritz
West One
112 St. Clair
Maple Leaf Square
The Met
Prince Arthur
Chedington

Chaz looks like it'll be nice.
 
Can someone explain to me why developers keep giving Page+Steele work? Are they actually cheaper than firms like aA, Wallman, KPMB, Hariri Pontarini, Teeple, Core, D+S, etc? Are their "designs" cheaper to build? What's the attraction exactly?

P+S (and Kirkor and G+C and Raphael & Bigaskas and...) are what's known as a 'full service' firm meaning they handle the all of the planning, architectural and landscape design themselves. Often 'full service' firms work closely with particular structural and mechanical engineering firms and will contract out the work themselves. They then add all the costs together and merge it into one simple fee (as payable by the developer). This lowers costs and results in easy-to-construct if difficult-to-love projects.
 
Eh...not my favorite firm but they've done some decent stuff.

Ritz
West One
112 St. Clair
Maple Leaf Square
The Met
Prince Arthur
Chedington

Chaz looks like it'll be nice.

Different strokes I guess, but out of that list only the Ritz (which is really a KPF design) and the Met are halfway decent in my books. The rest is forgettable shlock, and that's the best of P+S. The only decent thing about MLS is the podium, and I'm pretty sure that KPMB was responsible for that. I'm taking a wait-and-see approach on Chaz.

P+S (and Kirkor and G+C and Raphael & Bigaskas and...) are what's known as a 'full service' firm meaning they handle the all of the planning, architectural and landscape design themselves. Often 'full service' firms work closely with particular structural and mechanical engineering firms and will contract out the work themselves. They then add all the costs together and merge it into one simple fee (as payable by the developer). This lowers costs and results in easy-to-construct if difficult-to-love projects.

Interesting. But what is it about the full service nature of their firms that makes the architecture itself so poor? I understand that handing a design off to a structural engineer may result in compromised architecture, but often their designs (along with those of Kirkor and G+C) don't just look compromised but rather totally hackneyed, insipid and outdated.
 
Our interview with Steve Gupta wraps up on the front page today, with a first final rendering of the south terrace at King Blue. Several more renderings are coming soon.

He does indeed sound good-willed and interested in being a city-builder and community builder, but from that interview it seems as though he's fairly wedded to working with Page + Steele, which is unfortunate. It's probably safe to say that his unnamed, multi-tower project in midtown will be designed by them as well. Accordingly we can expect some very sub par architecture to grace our midtown skyline in the future.
 
I can't remember the last time I've seen such a stark difference between the podium and the tower. It looks like they may have actually taken some time to design the lower part of the project where it meets the street, and then ran out of time and just grabbed any older tower drawing that was laying somewhere in the back room. It looks like 2 separate projects glued together. Possibly a new low, and we've definitely had some clunkers over the years.
 
From the Star.........http://www.thestar.com/living/reale...os-will-be-a-destination-toronto-builder-says

King Blue Condos will be a ‘destination,’ Toronto builder says
King Blue will have two seven-storey podiums at its base. The north podium, at the corner of King and Blue Jays Way, will incorporate the north and west walls of the 1929 Westinghouse Building that currently sits on the site. “We want to save the walls and build new ones behind them,” says Gupta.

This costs more, he acknowledges, but it’ll add a nice touch to the new condo. “It will maintain the character and the heritage.”

There will be a rooftop bar on top of the north podium that will be open to the public. “We will do our best to make it a destination,” Gupta says.

On King Blue’s sixth floor there will be a pool with doors that open onto an outdoor patio with a bar (for residents only).

Gupta says he’s still debating whether to include a hotel in King Blue’s north podium, behind the Westinghouse Building facade. “We’re keeping it open, because the market right now is a bit saturated with the Four Seasons, Ritz-Carlton, Shangri-La and Trump.

“We want to see how they’re going by the time we sell the first building, and then we’ll make a decision.”

King Blue’s south podium, along Mercer St. — a brand new building to be clad in charcoal brick — will house the Theatre Museum of Canada on its entire second floor. The five floors above will be condos and there will be a 5,000-square-foot rooftop garden on the seventh floor.

King Blue’s two towers will stand 20 metres apart. “And they’ll be staggered,” Gupta notes, “so the views will be completely open.”

There will be a centre courtyard between the buildings, providing a pedestrian connection from King West through to Mercer St. one block south. The courtyard will be accessible by car from Blue Jays Way, allowing for drop offs for the condo towers and theatre museum. “Because we have that centre courtyard, we’ve been able to build the buildings right up to the street,” Gupta notes.
 

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