Manulife Centre Podium and Streetscape Renewal | 10m | 2s | Manulife Real Estate | MdeAS Architects

Filip

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Makes sense...Manulife Centre wants to capitalize on the exorbitant rents they can charge by having proper, luxury retail spaces in the building.

I don't think we will see William Ashley/Birks survive this.
 

bAuHaUs

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I've heard that Sephora is taking the Jacobs space.
 

UrbanFervour

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This has the potential to be great for Bay/Bloor Streets... but I wonder how they can pull it off without messing with the integrity of the building - Right now Manulife is sort of a mess at street level - i wonder if a 2-story addition can possibly look integral to the design of the brutalist structure or if it is going to inevitably look tacked on.
 

maestro

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BMO branch with blue LED lasers would be the perfect compliment on the corner of Bay and Bloor.
 

adma

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This has the potential to be great for Bay/Bloor Streets... but I wonder how they can pull it off without messing with the integrity of the building - Right now Manulife is sort of a mess at street level - i wonder if a 2-story addition can possibly look integral to the design of the brutalist structure or if it is going to inevitably look tacked on.
But actually, speaking of "tacked on"--the projecting vestibule on Bloor was a mid-80s modification; before that was added, the looming mass was continuous, and the entrance was basically a hole-in-the-wall.

And for its time, said vestibule actually was relatively "sympathetic" to the design; at least, insofar as nobody in this thread's yet caught on to its being an addition. (Though I seem to recall negative reviews from Adele Freedman types or something)
 

isaidso

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Makes sense...Manulife Centre wants to capitalize on the exorbitant rents they can charge by having proper, luxury retail spaces in the building.

I don't think we will see William Ashley/Birks survive this.
I have no pity for Ashley and have boycotted them ever since they refused to participate in the sidewalk improvement project. They didn't want to do their part in improving this part of the city. If they get replaced by someone else it will be exactly what they deserve. Good riddance.
 

pw20

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Makes sense...Manulife Centre wants to capitalize on the exorbitant rents they can charge by having proper, luxury retail spaces in the building.

I don't think we will see William Ashley/Birks survive this.
Pretty sure Birks is one of the most productive retailers in North America on a square basis.

As for Ashely's they are the primo game in town for high end registries. Also are backed by a large private equity firm.
 

lbernste

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Of course the Manulife Centre street frontage needs to change, and Manulife are wise to want to maximize revenue by adding maybe 50,000 sq. ft. of retail space. No problems here. But: the corner of Bay and Bloor is an iconic, important point in Toronto and offers the opportunity for something really great. The plan as proposed by Manulife is, seriously, just a 2 story glass curtain, rectangular running along the property line. Looking at the South West corner of Bay and Bloor will be no different from just about any condo building built since 2004; or every office tower downtown built since 1998.

The opportunity is to have a great, iconic, important, innovative architectural feature at that corner. Manulife know good architecture and generally seem to care. So why are they settling for this unimaginative, predictable and mediocre solution at one of Toronto's most important landmarks?
 

maestro

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Think it makes sense to present something rather basic and allow the tenants to customize to their own choosing. Many stores are identifiable by exterior cladding now.
 

AlvinofDiaspar

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Just thinking that a concrete/glass addition along the lines of Arthur Erickson's Museum of Anthropology would reference the original architecture very well.

AoD
 

onetimetoomany

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Of course the Manulife Centre street frontage needs to change, and Manulife are wise to want to maximize revenue by adding maybe 50,000 sq. ft. of retail space. No problems here. But: the corner of Bay and Bloor is an iconic, important point in Toronto and offers the opportunity for something really great. The plan as proposed by Manulife is, seriously, just a 2 story glass curtain, rectangular running along the property line. Looking at the South West corner of Bay and Bloor will be no different from just about any condo building built since 2004; or every office tower downtown built since 1998.

The opportunity is to have a great, iconic, important, innovative architectural feature at that corner. Manulife know good architecture and generally seem to care. So why are they settling for this unimaginative, predictable and mediocre solution at one of Toronto's most important landmarks?
Hey I'm just wondering if you received more info/where did you get your info from? I've been curious about this project and often check for any signs of construction but have yet to see much.
 

lbernste

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Yes

I was at a presentation by the client and architect teams. However, nothing they presented was new -- I had seen the renderings before. I imagine all this available through city planning at the very least. Construction will not start until they get planning approval.

Hey I'm just wondering if you received more info/where did you get your info from? I've been curious about this project and often check for any signs of construction but have yet to see much.
 

lbernste

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Think it makes sense to present something rather basic and allow the tenants to customize to their own choosing. Many stores are identifiable by exterior cladding now.
This is not really the point (although now that you mention it, the same approach to urban design has been adopted by just about every building between Yonge and Avenue Road on Bloor, and it has hardly made the Street a global example of architectural and city planning excellence). The point is: the corner of Bloor and Bay deserves something more, something that will be written about in architecture magazines and featured in coffee-table books. The Pritzger prize jury should simply send the prize by FedEx because it is so far above anything else anywhere in the world. More importantly, it should be voted by Urban Toronto members as the best building of the century. Let's not settle (and let's not rely on the urban planning and architectural sensibilities of retailers to make our city great!).
 

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