Rough, unprocessed and entirely functional, the superstructure of a building is visible only for a short time before being hidden beneath layers of finishing. The opportunity to view a project in this form and to appreciate the complexity and mechanics of its creation is, therefore, especially welcome. UrbanToronto was fortunate to have the opportunity recently to tour Cinema Tower and document the state of construction. Located at the corner of Widmer St. and Adelaide St. West, the 43-storey tower is being developed by The Daniels Corporation with Kikor Architects responsible for the design of the project. Interior design work is being undertaken by HOK. Just as the building is divided into two distinct portions, namely the podium and tower, so too will our tour of the project. In this first installment, we will bring you a photo update of the podium.

Cinema Tower as seen from the corner of Adelaide St, West and Widmer St. Image by Craig White.

Holding the greatest diversity of uses, the podium contains retail space that will soon house a restaurant, several levels of above-grade parking, amenities for residents as well as 6000 sq. feet of performance/programming space for Artscape. Uncommon for private developments, the inclusion of event space for Artscape is significant because it re-establishes a niche for artists in an area that lost much of its low-cost studio space in the course of the neighbourhood's rapid redevelopment. In addition to the Artscape space, Daniels has commissioned artist Peter Powning to create a sculpture called Strata that will frame the residential entrance of the project. Consisting of a lintel slab canopy resting on two solid stratified columns, the artwork will feature artifacts cast in bronze with the canopy featuring illuminated aquifer veins made of reflecting slumped glass. The artwork will be installed at the lobby entrance visible on the lower right side of the image above.  An interior view of the lobby can also be found below:

A view of the residential lobby looking out towards Widmer Street, image by Craig White.

The source of much discussion on the Forum, the painted concrete cladding is an effective means to disguise the parking spaces that lay behind it. Breaking from Toronto's material vernacular with the use of colourful concrete panels in place of brick or translucent glass panels, the vertical incisions help to offset what would otherwise be an oppressive and monolithic facade. Below is a photo of the cladding taken from the top of the podium as well as two interior images of the parking garage.

Concrete paneling on the podium of the tower, image by Craig White.

Parking garage housed in the podium of the tower, image by Craig White.

Interior view of concrete paneling. The opening will soon be fitted with windows, image by Craig White.

Located at the top of the podium are the condo's amenity spaces known as Club Cinematheque. In stark contrast to the utilitarian parking garage beneath it, the amenities are varied and expansive. The first two images show the enormous space that will soon hold the basketball court and gymnasium.

This unfinished space will soon house a full court gymnasium, image by Craig White.

A view from the gym looking south toward the offices of the Toronto International Film Festival at the Bell Lightbox, image by Craig White.

Just to the north of the gym is the large outdoor terrace. Containing a large seating area as well as a rock garden, barbeque and lounge. For a full list of amenities, visit the project's website here.

Work progressing on the outdoor amenity space, image by Craig White.

Tower as seen from the top of the podium, image by Craig White.

For more information on Cinema Tower, including renderings, a link to our dataBase page can be found below. Be sure to check back soon for the second installment of our tour where we take you through the condo tower above!

Related Companies:  City Life Realty Ltd., HOK, Jablonsky, Ast and Partners, Kirkor Architects Planners, Montana Steele, NAK Design Strategies, Page + Steele / IBI Group Architects, tcgpr (The Communications Group), The Daniels Corporation