We have had a good look on UrbanToronto at the renderings for Lifetime and CentreCourt's Karma Condos at 21 Grenville Street, but the 'hero shot' for this architectsAlliance-designed building is an acute angle looking skyward from the ground, and while we get a good sense of what is proposed at street level, the perspective has left us with a few questions about how the building resolves higher up. A visit to the presentation centre to take a photographic tour around the scale model clears a number of things up.

Karma Condos by Lifetime Developments and CentreCourt Developments

So that's the rendering we are familiar with. Below, without looking up, are a head-on and a three-quarter view of the building's street realm. So far, so good!

Karma Condos by Lifetime Developments and CentreCourt Developments, image by Craig White

Karma Condos by Lifetime Developments and CentreCourt Developments, image by Craig White

We love the huge windows in the building's two-storey podium, and we are hoping for high quality retail there. We also look forward to new life for the heritage home on the site: it currently sits on the west side of the site, but will be moved to the east side to help bring warmth to St. Luke Lane which runs south to College Street.

Atop the podium is the building's amenity level. Its various rooms have views to the north and west over the street and terrace. The terrace will have plenty of outdoor seating and facilities for al fresco dining and relaxing.

Karma Condos by Lifetime Developments and CentreCourt Developments, image by Craig White

So, it's time to leave the ground and head up: just what is going on halfway up the building on the west side? This:

Karma Condos by Lifetime Developments and CentreCourt Developments, image by Craig White

We have seen a number of buildings put forward on paper for Toronto which propose a shifted volume, but it looks like Karma will be the first to make tangible this particular asymmetirical, gravity-scorning architectural feat. It's a subtle yet substantial gesture whose final effect we will only completely grasp once the project climbs skyward, when we see how it plays off The Gallery, Karma's 26-storey neighbour to the west.

Karma Condos by Lifetime Developments and CentreCourt Developments, image by Craig White

Will The Gallery condos one day appear to nestle under that lip? Time will tell. Looking up now, to the very top, there is another story to tell: Karma's mechanical level is sheathed in a shiny metallic skin, oval shaped. That's all topped with a rectilinear frame to square everything off and to tie the building together architecturally.

Karma Condos by Lifetime Developments and CentreCourt Developments, image by Craig White

Fritting and framing on the fins will create fluid shadows on the mechanical box's skin, changing with the movement of the sun during the day. In the evening, look skyward for a playful, warm glow from Karma.

Karma Condos by Lifetime Developments and CentreCourt Developments, image by Craig White

So that's Karma, more fleshed out than we have seen her before. There is a lot more to see of the inside, including the richly-appointed Cecconi Simone-designed amenity interiors in UrbanToronto's dataBase listing for the building, linked below. Want to get in on the conversation? Choose one of the associated forum threads also linked below!

Related Companies:  architectsAlliance, Baker Real Estate Inc., Brandon Communications, Cecconi Simone, CentreCourt, Lifetime Developments, Skygrid Construction, Strybos Barron King