When we last checked in on the construction progress of FIVE Condos on St, Joseph Street, the restored storefront and factory facades on Yonge and St. Joseph streets were revealed for the first time, an exciting milestone in one of the largest facade retention projects in Canadian history. Since then, construction of the tower has continued at a steady pace, with balcony glass installed as glazing now covers almost the entirety of the 48-storey condominium.
The project by MOD, Graywood, and Five St. Joseph Developments, features extensive heritage restoration by ERA Architects at its base, and a modern Hariri Pontarirni design of the residential tower above. The high-rise condominium reaches skyward in a gently undulating form, standing out as an elegantly discrete focal point in the skyline. This kinetic energy is subtly underlined by the newly installed two-tone balconies, which trace a vertical sight-line along the tower.
The balconies feature two-toned glazing with vertical, capsule-shaped panels moving up the building in a distinctive pattern, accentuating the sense of vertical movement along tower. As seen in the above photo, the eye-catching balcony glass now extends up to approximately half of the tower's height, while the remainder of FIVE Condos' glazing has been mostly installed (below).
The partially opaque balcony cladding (seen below) provides a counterpoint to the largely translucent glazing that characterizes the rest of the tower—and much of Toronto's recent high-rise construction, while the balconies' half-closed sides serve to draw the eye up the length of the condominium.
FIVE Condos' balcony design also provides a sense of enclosure and outdoor privacy rarely found in Toronto's glass and steel skyscrapers, which should come as especially good news to the acrophobic among us. The bird-friendly balcony fritting also decreases heat absorption, making the building more energy-efficient in the summer months.
While the balcony fritting appears completely opaque from a distance, a closer view (below) reveals the fritting to be slightly translucent, with reflections from behind the cladding faintly visible as almost ghostly imprints. To residents on the balconies, however, the frit—composed of enamel glaze dots—becomes much more transparent, as the natural movements of human eyes serve to fill in the opaque spaces to create a practically unobstructed panorama.
On ground level, FIVE Condos' restored heritage facades are also showing significant progress. Windows and doors on the Joseph Street base have been mostly installed, while concrete for the sidewalk is now being poured. Below, workers can be seen installing the double-wide sidewalk in front of what will be the building's main entrance.
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