UrbanToronto had a chance recently to talk to architect Roy Varacalli about Exhibit, a luxury condominium tower being developed by Bazis , Metropia, and Pure Plaza, in advance of the project’s launch on March 30th.

Exhibit has one of the most high profile locations in Toronto: one look at the rendering of the building and anyone familiar with Toronto instantly knows that the 32-storey tower will sit across Bloor Street from Daniel Libeskind’s landmark crystal at the renowned Royal Ontario Museum.

Bloor Street has been witness to a smart revitalization of late, not only with the game-changing ROM addition, but also with black granite sidewalks, London plane trees, and the lush planters of the Bloor-Yorkville shopping district, an expansion of the Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art, an expansion of the Royal Conservatory of Music with an exceptional performing arts venue, and the ongoing renewal of much of the University of Toronto’s northern face.

With all of this going on, Bazis partner and chief architect Roy Varacalli knew that the design for Exhibit had to respond to the increased expectations for this important cultural hub. More than anything, Exhibit needed to be in dialogue with the Libeskind crystal’s daring angles to the South. To that end Exhibit’s bulk is divided into quarters, 8 storeys each, angled to harmonize with the ROM, and sheathed in a cool white veil.

The veil is created by a frit, a pattern of ceramic dots baked onto the surface of the balcony glazing, which will allow those behind it to see out to the city, but which will simultaneously provide privacy for the residents, and a unified cool white sheen to the tower. At street level, 20-foot high super-transparent low-iron glazing will give the whole building the appearance of floating above the sidewalk, while providing spectacular picture windows for high quality retail.

Exhibit’s centre-of-everything site means that there was another challenge to overcome when designing it: below ground there simply is no space for a garage, as the University subway line runs underneath. Parking, therefore, would have to be above ground. While above ground garages are not typically associated with beautiful design, Varacalli seems to have managed it here, and no-one looking at the rendering would guess that the garage has been hidden within the building’s podium. It will, in fact, look just like the rest of the building from the outside. The fritted glazing will give hints of colour wherever cars are parked close behind, while still hiding less desirable details from view. Residents will find meanwhile that the garage’s interior will be flooded with light pouring through the translucent walls. Moreover, those whose units are on the third through eighth floors will be able to park, very conveniently, right by their door.

Above the garage, the top of the podium will provide a place for the building’s amenities, including an outdoor urban garden overlooking the tony Annex neighbourhood to the North. UrbanToronto looks forward to bringing you details about those amenities, and more, as the building opens for sales in the coming days.

You can register for Exhibit at http://exhibitresidences.com/

What's your take on Exhibit? Leave a comment here, or join in the discussion on UrbanToronto's thread for the project by clicking on the link below.

This article was originally published in forum thread: Exhibit (200 Bloor W., Bazis/Plazacorp/Metropia, 32s, Varacalli)

Related Companies:  Baker Real Estate Inc., Bazis, Bazis Group, Burdifilek, Metropia, NAK Design Group, Plaza, Rosario "Roy" Varacalli, Ryan Design International, TMG Builders