Since our last update in March, development partners Allied Properties REIT and RioCan for the newly renamed King Portland Centre at 620 King Street West, have released an updated set of renderings from designers Hariri Pontarini Architects. The new renderings highlight an increased level of detail, mainly at street-level, and several from within the proposed network of laneways and woonerfs that will connect the 400,000 square foot complex, providing the potential tenants with a better sense of the scope of development that is set to monumentally transform this already vibrant stretch of King West into an urban destination on par with that of Manhattan's SoHo District in NYC. 

King Portland Centre, one of many restaurants, this one on King St, Allied REIT, RioCan, image courtesy of Hariri Pontarini

Surrounded by turn-of-the-century renovated brick warehouses and factories, the soon-to-be built complex will weave through mid-block spaces and replace one building facing King. The new build and existing brick buildings will play off one another, while the King Street restaurant, (seen above and in greater detail below) is just one example of the high attention to detail and architectural symbiosis that will become a defining feature of the King Portland Centre. 

King Portland Centre, restaurant detail, Allied REIT, RioCan, image courtesy of Hariri Pontarini

Taking a cue from the surrounding architecture, and perhaps from such similar urban spaces as Toronto's Distillery District and Manhattan's Meatpacking District, traditional materials, namely red brick, will be used to great effect throughout the warren of woonerfs and pedestrian laneways that will help set the laid-back tone of what will likely develop into an urban oasis within the heart of one of the city's most dense, walkable downtown neighbourhoods. Seen below, the newest renderings of the proposed pathways showcase the extensive use of brick as both an architectural detail, and paving material. 

King Portland Centre, brick lane with distinctive archways, Allied REIT, RioCan, image courtesy of Hariri Pontarini

The brick arches and causeways will provide a practical purpose as well, offering a semi-enclosed arcade for all weather conditions. The overall effect, as illustrated in the images below, recalls to a certain degree, the use of similar pedestrian, connecting structures, as found within the architecture of the Collegiate Gothic of the nineteenth century, fitting for the period of buildings that will continue to dominate the site at ground-level.

King Portland Centre, brick causeway with timber ceiling, Allied REIT, RioCan, image courtesy of Hariri Pontarini

King Portland Centre, traditional brick meets modern steel and glass, Allied REIT, RioCan, image courtesy of Hariri Pontarini

From up above, however, the planned skyward additions to the complex will be unmistakably modern. In total, the addition of 12 storeys (200,000 sq. ft.) of office space will be paired with 14 storeys (170,000 sq. ft.) of rental apartments to top-off the King Portland Centre which will be anchored by an additional 20,000 sq. ft. of retail and dining. Of the total 400,000 sq. ft. for the entire complex, just 61,000 sq. ft. will have direct frontage to either King or Portland streets, the majority of the King Portland Centre to be focused internally, which will more than likely create a pedestrian-friendly environment for area residents and visitors to enjoy. 

King Portland Centre, modern interior with full glass curtain wall, Allied REIT, RioCan, image courtesy of Hariri Pontarini

King Portland Centre, map detailing woonerfs and laneways, Allied REIT, RioCan, image courtesy of Hariri Pontarini

Once complete—current projections suggest a 2016 start date and a 2019 opening date—the King Portland Centre will have thoroughly transformed the block into a fully mixed-use residential, office, dining, and shopping hub, and will be a welcome addition to this already bustling corner of Downtown Toronto's desirable King West. While the addition of more and more condos in the immediate area, paired with a collection of trendy, high-end restaurants and bars have already done much to gentrify this once relatively forgotten corridor, the King Portland Centre will surely help cement the area as one of Toronto's premiere destination neighbourhoods. 

King Portland Centre, aerial view, Allied REIT, RioCan, image courtesy of Hariri Pontarini

For more information, see our dataBase entry for the King Portland Centre, or check out the discussion on our Forum. In addition, the development site can be found here for further details and contact information.

Related Companies:  Allied Properties REIT, Claude Cormier + Associés, entro, Hariri Pontarini Architects, Myles Burke Architectural Models, Peter McCann Architectural Models Inc., RioCan REIT, RJC Engineers, Trillium Architectural Products