Freed Developments, the company that arguably created the King West lifestyle with projects such as The Thompson, 20 Stewart and Seventy5 Portland, is branching out from their usual stomping grounds with Sixty Colborne. Situated between King and Front just off Church Street, the location is abutted by the King Edward Hotel and Private Residences to the west, and historic townhouses along the northern edge facing onto King Street. After much debate as to whether the project would come to fruition, we've received preliminary project renderings that have sparked our interest.

Designed by architectsAlliance, the project consists of a unique ten-storey podium, with a 28-storey tower placed on top. The podium is broken up visually with a grid system that adds depth to the traditional glass-box bases we here in Toronto are so used to seeing. The repetition of closely-placed vertical beams, and the use of what appears to be a darker brown or braass-coloured metal in the grid is no doubt attempting to reference the 19th century row houses that line the south side of Colborne Street, as well as the general neighbourhood aesthetic.

The tower component seems to be following a growing trend we're seeing in Toronto of stacked volumes, visually differentiated by varying materials and sizes. Of note is the dramatic archway covering what is most likely the entrance to the parking garage, breaking up the visual monotony that a full block length podium often creates. The arch, so long derided as an architectural form of the past and often difficult to incorporate within a modernist framework, seems to be making a comeback here in Toronto; Context King West, designed by Hariri Pontarini, uses low and long arches as well to create visual interest and reference King West's architectural history.

What do you think of these preliminary renderings? D you think Toronto architecture is evolving more into its own with the perceived repetition of certain design motifs? Let us know below, and check out the project Forum for Sixty Colborne here to see what our members are saying.

Related Companies:  Alex Shnaider, American Standard (part of Lixil Canada Inc.), architectsAlliance, Cecconi Simone, Context Development, Core Architects, DesignAgency, Dream Unlimited, ERA Architects, Freed Developments, Hariri Pontarini Architects, Jablonsky, Ast and Partners, L.A. Inc., Montana Steele, NAK Design Strategies, Serruya Realty Groups, Skyline International, Sotheby's International Realty, Studio Mariscal, YOO by Philippe Starck