West Don Lands: Block 13 | 105.76m | 31s | Dream | Henriquez Partners

lomeri

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Architects! Who hurt you? Why do you hate pedestrians so much?

This building is stunning. And then, you look at the retail. Another endless glass wall. Coming off another glass wall next door. Glass never looks this transparent in real life.

It would have hurt no one to bring down the brick and metal texture down to the street level and still maintained large windows.

It blows my mind. The ground is where most people experience a building. Why is it always an afterthought in Toronto? What am I missing?

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unrealestate

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Architects! Who hurt you? Why do you hate pedestrians so much?

This building is stunning. And then, you look at the retail. Another endless glass wall. Coming off another glass wall next door. Glass never looks this transparent in real life.

It would have hurt no one to bring down the brick and metal texture down to the street level and still maintained large windows.

It blows my mind. The ground is where most people experience a building. Why is it always an afterthought in Toronto? What am I missing?

View attachment 398113
The retail actually looks quite inviting
 

DSC

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Architects! Who hurt you? Why do you hate pedestrians so much?

This building is stunning. And then, you look at the retail. Another endless glass wall. Coming off another glass wall next door. Glass never looks this transparent in real life.

It would have hurt no one to bring down the brick and metal texture down to the street level and still maintained large windows.

It blows my mind. The ground is where most people experience a building. Why is it always an afterthought in Toronto? What am I missing?

View attachment 398113
Not sure that solid glass retail walls are a problem in themselves. The problem is that the arrangements inside the store often spoil them. Merchants put freezers and shelving against them (sometimes, but not always, installing an opaque barrier). Large windows, if not blocked, offer a view into the store (for window shopping) and a view out onto the street (for eyes on the street). Architects do need to think of how retail operates and provide space "in the back' for areas that are not public and locations for equipment (like freezers) that do not block windows.
 

everydayhim

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Architects! Who hurt you? Why do you hate pedestrians so much?

This building is stunning. And then, you look at the retail. Another endless glass wall. Coming off another glass wall next door. Glass never looks this transparent in real life.

It would have hurt no one to bring down the brick and metal texture down to the street level and still maintained large windows.

It blows my mind. The ground is where most people experience a building. Why is it always an afterthought in Toronto? What am I missing?

View attachment 398113
though i do agree in some form, the rhythm of cool little folded canopies does help to articulate the glass wall here. Also the fact that the retail is shallow may kind of help it. If they broke it down into three or four spaces, it may introduce some smaller scale shops instead of one large lease.

the renderings do somewhat lie though in terms of light, they keep rendering the eastern facade of the building facing the park in tremendous late afternoon-type sun exposure, which only occurs in the morning hours when there certainly wouldn't be that many people hovering around. unless they opened a tremendous spot for breakfast on the NE. corner, that would be a saahweeeet.

great proposal overall, that courtyard is welcome but it would be a quite shady all day. through-retail to help activate it may be a good move.
 

isaidso

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Architects! Who hurt you? Why do you hate pedestrians so much?

This building is stunning. And then, you look at the retail. Another endless glass wall. Coming off another glass wall next door. Glass never looks this transparent in real life.

It would have hurt no one to bring down the brick and metal texture down to the street level and still maintained large windows.

It blows my mind. The ground is where most people experience a building. Why is it always an afterthought in Toronto? What am I missing?

View attachment 398113

A lot of people become so accustomed to this type of ground level retail that they've come to accept it. I'm as exasperated/fed up with it as you but threw in the towel 15 years ago. It does get depressing when one goes on vacation and sees beautiful ground level retail with colour, texture, detailing, etc. only to return to walls of glass, but what can one do?

Architectural standards continue to improve so maybe we just need to wait for the culture to shift some more. 2002-2022 saw big improvements so 2022-2042 might too.
 
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lomeri

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A lot of people become so accustomed to this type of ground level retail that they've come to accept it. I'm as exasperated/fed up with it as you but threw in the towel 15 years ago. It does get depressing when one goes on vacation and sees beautiful ground level retail with colour, texture, detailing, etc. only to return to walls of glass, but what can one do?

Architectural standards continue to improve so maybe we just need to wait for the culture to shift some more. 2002-2022 saw big improvements so 2022-2042 might too.

During the day and evening, when many are illuminated from the inside, the best that can be said about this type of design is that it’s fine.

But at night, boy is it cold and soulless. For patios, it’s nice to be surrounded by color and material. And yes, you can manage that with large entryways and windows too.

It’s like all the architects and developers in Toronto created a silent agreement to cheap out on pedestrian experiences. And Toronto city planning will take them to task over height rather than the interactions with buildings most residents of the neighbourhood experience. Blows me away.
 

Ward8

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Not sure that solid glass retail walls are a problem in themselves. The problem is that the arrangements inside the store often spoil them. Merchants put freezers and shelving against them (sometimes, but not always, installing an opaque barrier). Large windows, if not blocked, offer a view into the store (for window shopping) and a view out onto the street (for eyes on the street). Architects do need to think of how retail operates and provide space "in the back' for areas that are not public and locations for equipment (like freezers) that do not block windows.
That may be so, but I cant think of an example of an all glass streetscape that is better than the alternative in any city I've ever been too. The inability for the tenant to affect the way their store front looks is a systemic problem, and it guarantees something boring for the pedestrian. Glass looks good on renders though, and allows architects to control the look of the entire building. Then you end up with a situation where the only way a vendor can advertise is with window vinyl.

This is cool but I wish the tower was taller in exchange for retail continuing along Bayview. Seems weird to abruptly stop the retail and have townhouses there.
I'd make that trade too.
 

formerTorontonian

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Looks great (though I'd prefer more retail and more stone making its way down to the retail) thanks in large part to the use of the warmer colors. Why can't we have more buildings with warmer tones/colors? Why can't more architects look at a city where all the vegetation is dead for 6 months of the year and figure out that it's a bad idea to make your buildings out of grey spandrel, that combines the dreariness of dirt with the sterility of glass...when communism fell, and the utilitarian/soulless/non-individualistic ideal died with it, the Eastern European countries repainted many of the slab grey buildings with bright colors, understanding how depressing it is to have everything done in grey, yet somehow Toronto's architects didn't get the memo
 
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HousingNowTO

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...no firm numbers on Affordable-Housing units in this deck, but WaterfrontTO usually requires 20% of units minimum as Affordable, so expecting around ~175 units as affordable here...depending on the UNIT-SIZE requirements the City requests.

Site is next to the future TDSB School Site - so I could see City asking for a lot of Family-Sized units in the Affordable pool.

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DavidCapizzano

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The feedback about the design was actually pretty constructive - I think the meeting is on YouTube.

They basically said they appreciate the colour (pulling the distillery red into the west Don lands) but that the combo of brick gradient, sunshades and the staggered balconies all together was a bit much. They also brought up the materiality and maintenance of the shades as Toronto gets pretty grimy. I generally tend to agree - I like the colour but I think they could stand to simplify and refine the design to be a bit more elegant.
 

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