Nestled between two of the most postcard-friendly neighbourhoods in the city—the Financial District and the thriving St. Lawrence neighbourhood—a building that may achieve landmark status is gearing up to redefine our growing skyline’s fledgling eastern flank. Great Gulf Homes’ 50-storey architectsAlliance-designed offering at Richmond and Victoria Streets, dubbed Yonge+Rich, is now in sales.
We sat down with Dragana Maznic, Design Director at Great Gulf, and renowned interior designer Diego Burdi of Burdifilek, at the Yonge+Rich Presentation Centre. The centre has been beautifully installed in the heritage buildings at 26 Lombard Street. They are a pair of four-storey buildings at the southeast corner of the site, and they will be saved and restored.
That's them to the right of the building's podium. It will rise to the height of its heritage neighbours, marked by pre-weathered Corten steel cladding—a carefully calculated blend of modern design and rustic texture. The cladding, which will have a rusted red flare on it, will tie in the red brick of its neighbours without pretending to be of the same era.
The architectsAlliance design for Yonge+Rich does just that; calling for spliced together side-by-side towers, allowing for more in-demand corner units, and providing all of them with expansive terraces. Taking a look at the scale model, the most evident archtiectural feature is the irregularly patterned cladding on the south tower, reminiscent of the puzzle-like levels of a Pacman game.
The north tower follows a cleaner design approach, sharing the development's 'bones', while dramatically juxtaposing its more dramatic conjoined fraternal twin. Dispensing with the often-criticized ‘green glass effect’, Yonge+Rich will be clad in a low-iron glass, providing a high-end finish with rich clarity.
While the balconies are shown as clear on the model, Great Gulf and architectsAlliance intend to provide views-through for residents, but privacy from the city beyond. A frit or other treatment may be applied here for that; a final decision is still to come. A final decision on the dividers between each suite's wraparound terrace is also to come, one which will not compromise the project's aesthetics and overall architectural vision.
Along with Great Gulf, and architectsAlliance, Diego Burdi had an interest in ensuring that every suite was designed with a large terrace—a minimum of 7 feet in depth—to entice residents outside during our patio season. While a very few developers we know of have built 6 foot wide balconies on suites recently, 7 feet is a new number for us. It means that full outdoor dinner tables and chairs, plus a pair of loungers and side tables is going to be easy to accommodate here, essentially providing outdoor rooms, and not just a patch of concrete to catch the view from. Residents will be able to relax and entertain outside here, not something that's so easy at many new buildings on offer currently.
An international approach will be taken with the building’s interiors: the team is looking for the meeting point of timeless elegance, contemporary chic, and the warmth of handmade textures.
Great Gulf is looking to accommodate both the needs of the young professionals who have been flooding back into downtown’s skyscrapers, along with those of the more established partners and principals whose offices ring the tower's windows. To that end, the building will have two amenity zones, located on both the 5th and 45th floors, with indoor and outdoor facilities in each zone. Both feature outdoor rooftop areas, referred to by Dragana Maznic and Diego Burdi as “parks in the sky”. These rooftop green areas will offer residents the chance to relax by the pool or cabana, or barbecue with family and friends.
The 5th floor amenity spaces will be geared more towards entertainment and exercise, while the 45th floor amenity spaces will be geared toward relaxation and recreation. Suites in the building are similarly differentiated; geared more towards the younger set on lower floors, and families and the more estanblished above. Yonge+Rich's lower amenities will include an indoor-outdoor yoga studio, a media room, bar, spa, lounge, gym and juice bar, allowing residents with smaller living spaces to entertain larger parties of guests.
The beyond-the-ordinary architectural treatments and high-end interior finishes planned for Yonge+Rich will call out to the end user. “The end-user today is so much more design aware than they were 15 years ago”, said Mr. Burdi, further crediting this shift to an increasing presence of interior design in the media.
We will be sure to return with more details as this unique project works its way through the approvals process. In the meantime, please visit our dataBase listing, below, for additional information including building facts and renderings. Want to get involved in the discussion? Check out the related forum threads, or voice your opinion in the comments section provided below.