While construction continues on the first phases of the master-planned Oakvillage development from Minto Communities GTA, eyes remain fixed on the future of the Uptown Oakville community located at the intersection of Trafalgar Road and Wheat Boom Drive. With sell-out success across the board for the initial phases, Minto recently went forward with the launch of North Oak Tower 3, the next phase continuation of the Oakvillage master plan. The 20-storey residential tower is designed by BDP Quadrangle, and will bring another 239 units to the growing Oakvillage, while providing a highly curated nature-focussed living experience.

North Oak Tower 3 (Left) pictured next to phase 4 of the Oakvillage development, image courtesy of Minto Communities GTA

One notable point of interest in the plans for North Oak Tower 3 is the building’s biophilic design. The concept of biophilia suggests that humans can experience psychological and physiological benefits through being connected to the natural world. Biophilic design is a byproduct of that concept that was formalized in the 1980s, and can be defined as an approach to architecture and design that integrates the sensory experience of the natural world into the finished product. The biophilic design approach has been lauded for its positive correlation to mental health benefits like reduced stress and improved cognitive performance, and continues to grow in popularity as the processes of urbanization further reduce the presence of nature in peoples’ lives. 

Working with landscape architects NAK Design Strategies and interior designers Figure3, North Oak Tower 3 has put a biophilic approach to design at the top of their priority list, with the intention of creating a living experience that stimulates wellness and strong mental and physical health. The current renderings show a development teeming with plant life, with a focus on using organic forms throughout the common spaces that deviates from the conventional orthogonal character of condo design. Throughout the interior spaces, the use of textured finishes inspired by wood, stone, and fabric, add another layer of naturalism that intends to provide residents with the atmosphere of a comfortable oasis, rather than a 20-storey building made of concrete and steel.

Examples of the biophilic design shown in the lobby finishings, image courtesy of Minto Communities GTA

Looking more closely at the amenity program built into the development, it is clear that the amenity spaces work hand in hand with the design to contribute to a highly curated residential experience. Some of the highlights include a glass arcade space, referred to as the Neighbourhood Gem, that contains the main lobby with an entry lounge while also providing extra space for things like co-working areas and an art gallery. Meanwhile, another primary social space is found outside, in an extensively gardened patio area featuring fire pits, barbecues, and seating designed for gatherings. 

View of outdoor amenity lounge with fire pits and extensive gardening, image courtesy of Minto Communities GTA

North Oak Tower 3 has also designed spaces for physical activity to be pursued in different ways. Sticking to the wellness-oriented identity, the development houses a fitness centre with a separate yoga studio that reflects all the characteristics of the biophilic design profile. Beyond the borders of Tower 3, the Oakvillage community grounds offer residents a chance to immerse themselves in outdoor activities with a network of walking and cycling paths on the campus, as well as convenient access to the extensive public trail network woven throughout the Oakville area.  

Interior view of the yoga studio amenity, image courtesy of Minto Communities GTA

The nature-focussed approach is also reflected in the building’s internal systems, on the shoulders of a geo-exchange heating and cooling system that demonstrates a commitment to sustainability through the use of clean renewable energy. Geo-exchange heating and cooling is achieved through the use of pipes burrowed deep underground below the frost line, where the temperature of the earth remains relatively constant year round, at roughly 12 degrees. The pipes circulate a fluid that absorbs the ground temperature, and transfers its energy into a heat pump, which then circulates warm or cool air throughout the building. The system is up to five times more efficient than standard heating systems, and accomplishes the task without the use of any fossil fuels. The installation of the geo-exchange system is the first part of the construction process, and is scheduled to begin this time next year.  

UrbanToronto will continue to follow progress on this development, but in the meantime, you can learn more about it from our Database file, linked below. If you'd like, you can join in on the conversation in the associated Project Forum thread or leave a comment in the space provided on this page.

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Related Companies:  BDP Quadrangle, Doka Canada Ltd./Ltee, Figure3, Live Patrol Inc., Minto Communities GTA, NAK Design Strategies, Parcel One, Rebar Enterprises Inc, UCEL Inc.