Earlier this month, Urban Toronto visited the offices of BBB Architects to discuss The Mercer with lead architect Brian Brisbin. He explained how the 33-storey condominium by Graywood Developments and Beaverhall Homes honours the industrial legacy of Mercer Street in a layered, “Romantic Modern” vocabulary of glass, steel, genuine brick, and Canadian Limestone.
On the south, east, and north elevations of The Mercer, red brick arches with limestone detailing span the height of the podium above a retail/lobby level clad in glass, steel, and limestone. An additional arch – likened to a vertical Mercer Street – extends two-thirds up the south elevation of the glass tower, signalling the building’s industrial roots on the city skyline. These will be lit for special events, heightening the theatricality of The Mercer at the centre of the Entertainment District. For added graphic intensity, fritted glass balcony railings wrap around the tower’s upper storeys. Above, the building is crowned by a cantilevered, aluminum-clad brise-soleil, aglow at night from lighting within the mechanicals area, which is enclosed in sandblasted curtain glazing. The rest of the building is clad in low-e window wall.
Atop the podium, two trellises mirroring the building’s crown frame the 10,000 square foot private terrace designed by Matt Bernstein of Terraplan Landscape Architects in collaboration with The Design Agency.
The terrace is 42% green cover, with the remaining space made up of a series of ‘rooms,’ including a games area and a dining area with kitchen. Six L-shaped fixtures provide lighting at night and act as misters on hot summer days. A large screen wall camouflaging the staircase core allows residents to watch movies outdoors.
Close-up of an outdoor lounge, the lighting / misting fixtures, and a portion of the screen wall
Close-up of the private dining area
The Mercer, with 415 suites from 363 square feet to over 1000 square feet, brings depth to Toronto’s architectural landscape with a unique homage to the city’s industrial past in a thoroughly contemporary expression. Urban Toronto promises to track this project closely as it’s brought to fruition in the few years to come. So, stay tuned.
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