By Toronto standards, the 23-storey height of DevMcgill's Arthaus probably wouldn't register much excitement. Not that height is generally the primary determinant of a project's quality and impact, of course, so much as it's generally the determinant of public interest and imagination (not for nothing that Yonge Street's recent 98-storey proposal proved UrbanToronto's most popular story of the year so far). Still, despite being some 350 km away from Toronto's Downtown core—and not boasting a design by a global starchitect—the project has been one to watch, as it introduces a diverse mix of uses that's unlike any other development of similar scale in Canada.
Now standing tall—or, at least, tall-ish—on Waller Street in Downtown Ottawa's Byward Market neighbourhood, the project combines an addition to the adjacent Ottawa Art Gallery (OAG) with a new hotel, a theatre for the University of Ottawa, street-level retail, and 88 condominium residences.
Anchored by its new and expanded home for the OAG's Firestone Collection of Canadian Art, the nearly topped-off project will also introduce a new plaza to Waller Street, animating the public realm. Seen below, a rendering shows how the various uses will be programmed, with two smaller volumes housing the theatre and art gallery, while the tower's lower levels are given over to the luxury Le Germain hotel, with the Arthaus Residences at Arts Court condominium suites—ranging in size from 450 ft² to 1,800 ft²—occupying floors 15 to 23.
Designed by the team of Toronto-based KPMB Architects, Montréal's Régis Côté et Associés, and Ottawa's Barry Padolsky Associates Inc. Architects, the construction of the multi-use project is steadily progressing. This month, the first panels of glazing were spotted along the lower levels, with the tower now reaching almost its full 23-storey height.
With structural forming now all but complete, the coming months will see cladding continue to shape the tower, giving us a preview of its completed exterior aesthetic as work gets underway on the project's interiors, with residential spaces appointed by Toronto-based U31.
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