The intersection of Peter and Richmond Streets in Toronto's Entertainment District has kept our attention for a while now with major projects dramatically changing the area. The Sweeny &Co Architects Inc. and Stephenson Engineering-designed Queen Richmond Centre West, or QRC West, on the northwest corner of the site, is adding 17 storeys of office space to the neighbourhood with an impressive glass and steel structure floating on top of a preserved brick heritage building. Kitty-corner from QRC West, on the southeast portion of this construction hot-spot, is rising 36-storey high Tableau Condominiums, with its own not-your-everyday-design by Wallman Architects.
While we provide you with frequent updates on these projects, let's focus today on what is happening at the ground level. Indeed, more than just adding retail, office space and condominium units to this ever changing part of so-called Downtown West, these new constructions are actually revamping the whole streetscape around them. The once outdated, nearly sketchy-looking intersection is to become one of the most contemporary and stylish corners of the city.
Let's start with the Queen Richmond Centre West. The structure standing above the restored heritage warehouse is being wrapped with a highly reflective glazing and will certainly be a valuable element to the local skyline… however, the base of the building will not be outdone.
An L-shaped 70-foot-high lobby, opening on one end to Richmond and to Peter on the other will be marked inside by the the three x-shaped structural steel 'delta frames' which support the new building above. This gem will be made visible from the outside thanks to a mast truss glass system, which means that the glass wall sealing the lobby will be supported by a frame and a series of spreaders and trusses placed along it, thus offering an almost complete transparency.
To bring more life to the street, retail space is planned to animate the corner of Richmond and Peter as well as the corner of Queen and Peter - the latter being part of the project's proposed phase 2.
Moving across the intersection to Tableau Condominiums, au—UrbanCapital, Malibu Investments, and ALIT Developments project—this tower will add 410 condominiums units plus 25,000 square feet of office and retail space on three floors at ground level.
Tableau is similar to its fellow project across the street in that both are rising above a heritage component, although in the Tableau case the original building was demolished, with its façade to be recreated on its original location during the last phase of construction. The office/retail space will be accessible via the Peter Street lobby through the replicated heritage facade.
What is really going to get attention at the base of Tableau, however, is the 'table' the building is named after, which should give an astonishing first impression for several reasons. First is the thick table-like transfer slab floor above which the residential units rise. Supported by four-storey high legs, it will bridge the heritage Peter Street façade and create a triangular colonnaded plaza on the Richmond side, responding to the jog in the street here. This is where the future Tableau residents will have access to their main lobby.
The outdoor spaces and landscape have been conceived by the famous Montreal-based designer Claude Cormier Architectes Paysagistes, who was also in charge of the redevelopment of Sugar Beach and HTO Park on the waterfront. The sheltered plaza will be paved with a white and grey-toned mosaic-tiled floor, whereas the sidewalk on the northeastern side of the intersection will be completely remodeled and become a new plaza with an imposing rock surrounded by trees.
Finally, Shayne Dark's sculpture 'Nova', 90 feet high, will rise from the ground and run through an opening in the table-like structure to reach the fifth floor. This dynamic, green-coloured installation will be the signature element of Tableau and eventually become a landmark amongst its totally transformed premises.
With the dramatic ground level spaces across from each other at Richmond and Peter, and a new park on the northeast corner too, we expect that this intersection will become quite a hot spot in our quickly transforming city.
Additional information and plenty of renderings can be found in the dataBase files for both projects, linked below. If you want to get involved in the discussion, choose any of the associated Forum threads, or leave a comment in the space provided on this page.