Renderings or no, in most cases we've seen in Toronto, a building needs to have risen several levels above grade, and usually have some cladding installed too before we even get a hint of its architectural features. That is not the case at the site of 51 Camden Street by the Alterra Group of CompaniesZinc Developments, and Prowinko. The construction site at Brant and Camden streets in the Fashion District is where the 13-storey boutique hotel-to-be is showing off a unique structural expression even before the first floor has been fully formed. 

Looking southeast across the 51 Camden site, image by Forum contributor ProjectEnd

We last checked in on the Shim-Sutcliffe-designed project at the end of May, when forming was progressing on the last of four underground levels, containing back-of-house services and the bar of the hotel above—and unusually, no parking. That level has since been formed, and now the first above-grade progress here is more noteworthy than a typical build, as the west end of the ground floor is marked by a series of atypical columns that will frame the hotel lobby and its arch-supported ceiling.

Looking southwest across the 51 Camden site, image by Forum contributor ProjectEnd

This row of columns will consist of tapered reinforced concrete pylons that culminate in solid steel joints to which concrete arches will be fixed with a pin. The joints will remain exposed, as will dramatically tapered arches that will define the hotel's open-plan, double-height lobby and restaurant area. Seven of these supports are being constructed, the north-most one to become a standout architectural feature of the building's Camden Street frontage.

Detail of a support and joint at the 51 Camden site, image by Forum contributor ProjectEnd

The sketch below shows the interior space with columns, joints, and arches, making a muscular display of the engineering at work here. Finishings on the exterior will include weathering steel and painted steel, bare concrete, and plenty of brick, in varying patterns including stack bond. 

51 Camden Street lobby interior sketch, image courtesy of Zinc Developments

Additional information and images can be found in our database file for the project, linked below. Want to get involved in the discussion? Check out the associated Forum threads, or leave a comment in the field provided at the bottom of this page.

Related Companies:  Alterra Group of Companies, Egis, ProWinko, RJC Engineers