Yesterday, Reserve Properties and Westdale Properties celebrated the start of construction for Untitled Toronto, a 751-unit, two-tower residential condo development that will stand 21 and 33 storeys tall on Broadway Avenue in Midtown. The ground breaking ceremony was attended by representatives from both companies. Unusually, the design team of Untitled Toronto went beyond the the architectural firm IBI Group and interior designers U31 through an unprecedented collaboration with internationally acclaimed artist, Pharrell Williams. 

Reserve Properties and Westdale Properties celebrate the start of construction at Untitled Toronto, image by Geoff Fitzgerald

Sheldon Fenton, President and Chief Executive Officer, Reserve Properties, released a statement on the occasion saying “It’s been a tremendous honour to work on this collaboration with Pharrell Williams and the rest of the design and development team. Collectively, Reserve, Westdale, together with our consultants at IBI Group and U31, worked tirelessly alongside Pharrell until we ended up with a design that was truly special. We wanted to do something unique for the City of Toronto and the Yonge and Eglinton neighbourhood and we’re excited to be turning our attention to construction and bringing this shared vision to life.”

The Grammy Award-winning artist has been active in far more than just the music industry, with other of his high-profile ventures including the goodtime hotel which recently opened in Miami Beach, plus long-term relationships with Adidas and Human Made. Pharrell had not worked on multi-residential development design before, which appealed to Reserve and Westdale when they approached him. 

Shane Fenton, Chief Operating Officer, Reserve Properties, expanded on that in his remarks on the occasion; “We knew we wanted to collaborate with a cultural icon who would lend a vision that originated from outside the realm of residential real estate. We were hoping for a fresh perspective and inspiration, and that’s what we got. Pharrell pushed us towards designing spaces that felt universal, instead of dictating a pre-prescribed lifestyle onto our purchasers and residents. Early on in the design process we settled on the mantra 'space was only a backdrop,' and that ended up really driving the process.”

Over the course of a year, design meetings were held "where key themes around essentialism, connections to the elements, and the universality of space would emerge. Eventually, this lens would come to inform each aspect of the development, including both condominium residences, as well as the adjacent rental building and adjoining public spaces."

Looking northwest to Untitled Toronto, designed by IBI Group with Pharrell Williams for Reserve Properties and Westdale Properties

Untitled’s syncopated balcony design comes from a cultural reference to jugalbandi, introduced by lead architect Mansoor Kazerouni of IBI Group, which refers to an intricate duet between two solo musicians. Kazerouni wanted to visually abstract music in the architecture of the building through parametric design, with the balconies' edges popping to the wave pattern of Pharrell’s song Gust of Wind. At ground level, the natural stone-clad podium echos the same pattern while establishing a more textural presence for those walking by.

Interiors were designed under the leadership of Kelly Cray of U31, and have been "aimed to extend the notions of universality throughout the common areas, amenities, and suites. The palate that emerged blended elements of nature and Japanese-inspired minimalism that highlighted the use of plants, water, light and form." Residents will enjoy 32,000 ft² of indoor and outdoor amenities that include a co-working garden lounge, a rec room, a social lounge with private dining and a sake tasting area, a screening room, and a special club space just for kids. A wellness centre will feature an active fitness studio and an indoor-outdoor swimming pool where a 30-foot-long water feature is a highlight.

Entry to and lobby interior of Untitled Toronto, designed by IBI Group and U31 with Pharrell Williams for Reserve Properties and Westdale Properties

To the immediate west of Untitled Toronto at 100 Broadway, a third, 36-storey purpose-built rental building will bring a mix of 200 affordable units, 165 mid-price units, and 48 market units to the area. 100 Broadway will also boast 16,000 ft² of amenity spaces for its residents. Meanwhile, at the corner of Broadway and Redpath avenues in front of the two related projects, a public park designed by NAK Design Strategies will feature "a mix of granite paving and seating, sculptural seating made of timber slats, a water play area, greenery, bike racks and sculptural features."

100 Broadway with the NAK Design Strategies-designed park out front, rendering by IBI Group for Reserve Properties and Westdale Properties

Mitchell Cohen, Chief Operating Officer, Westdale Properties, summed up the companies' intentions in his statement, saying "As developers with a long track record in this neighbourhood, we were motivated to elevate our offering and do something special for Yonge and Eglinton. This part of the city is in the middle of a tremendous transformation, from the introduction of the LRT to the volume of new construction taking place. You’d be hard pressed to find a community anywhere in North America experiencing a comparable rate of change. We’re proud of how far Midtown has come, and even more excited about its future.”

You can learn more from our Database files for the projects, linked below. If you'd like to, you can join in on the conversation in the associated Buildings Forum threads, or leave a comment in the space provided on this page.

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Related Companies:  Arcadis, Baker Real Estate Incorporated, Live Patrol Inc., NAK Design Strategies, Rebar Enterprises Inc, Reserve Properties, U31