There was quite the event at Hines and Tridel's Bayside Presentation Centre this morning as Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark along with a delegation of Danish Government officials came to Toronto to officially unveil an exhibition of Copenhagen-based architectural firm 3XN's waterfront design work from around the world, and at the same time unveil 3XN's latest competition-winning design for a new Toronto building.
3XN is one of four world-class Danish architectural firms currently working in Toronto, along with BIG, Henning Larsen, and COBE. The city seems to have taken Danish design to heart, possibly seeing something of itself—or at least what it would like for itself—in the aspirational designs that tend to come from that Nordic country. (Is this how Toronto is finding 'hygge'?)
The 3XN exhibition, 'Waterfront Architecture: Placemaking and Context", is filling the presentation centre over the coming months with models, renderings, and photos of 11 of their projects from Toronto, Sydney, and Denmark, at the same time that Hines, head developer for Waterfront Toronto's Bayside lands, is preparing to bring their architectural design for 'T3 Bayside' before Waterfront Toronto's Design Review Panel.
Kim Herforth Neilsen, founding partner at 3XN, was one of several speakers at the event, including Thomas Winkler, Danish Ambassador to Canada speaking on behalf of the Prince, Avi Tesciuba of Hines, Meg Davis of Waterfront Toronto, Andrea Del Zotto of Tridel, and others. Nielsen talked of his firm's work around the world, over 50% of which is waterfront-related. “Our own office is on the water and in Denmark there is more than 2,000 kilometres of waterfront, so it’s almost impossible to have a site that doesn’t connect with the water in some ways. In harbour cities, the waterfront is always the most valuable and desirable area. This exhibit is meant to explore how we as designers can create multifunctional spaces that make the most of where everyone wants to be." Speaking more specifically about T3 he said "3XN’s work is guided by the belief that a project should provide a backdrop for shared interactions, and integrate social spaces that benefit all kinds of people, not just those that live and work there, "
To be built adjacent to 3XN's Aquabella and Aqualuna condominiums for Hines and Tridel, the firm was also the winner of a design competition for the two side-by-side 10-storey office buildings on Queens Quay East that Hines is now seeking out tenants for. T3 is to be timber-constructed, and in fact, the buildings are currently the tallest timber-constructed office buildings to be announced for North America. The construction method offers significant flexibility, even the possibility of disassembly and reassembly, while not adding to carbon in the atmosphere. Wood sequesters carbon as it grows, is sustainable through forest management, and is being increasingly recognized as a major step forward in green building practices by the development industry. At the same time, wood buildings bring texture and warmth to work spaces, characteristics that are also being increasingly recognized as a psychological health benefit to those working within them.
We will be back with more information about T3 as more information emerges. In the meantime, 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.
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