M1 and M2 at M City are not the only Greater Toronto Area winners of an Award of Excellence from the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) this year; Hariri Pontarini Architects has also garnered international recognition from the CTBUH for their innovative design of 8 Spadina Avenue, the office tower at The Well in Downtown Toronto. As one of 11 international winners of a 2024 Award of Excellence in the Best Tall Building in the 100-199m category, the accolade highlights the firm’s ability to bring together architectural innovation with elegance.

8 Spadina Avenue breaks from typical office building typology with its distinctive massing and atypical layout. The LEED Platinum tower spans 111,500m² across 38 storeys, featuring a modern but industrially-flecked aesthetic that nods to the area's past through macro-scale facade details and a jutting stairway. Uniquely, the building is divided into three volumetric segments that terrace upward, offering diverse floor plates and office space flexibility.

An aerial view looking southeast to 8 Spadina Avenue at The Well, image courtesy of Hariri Pontarini Architects

8 Spadina's floor-plate is particularly distinguished for its off-centre elevator core, placed at the north end of the building. This significantly enhances daylight and expansive views across the office floors, deviating from the typical central core layout that block through-views in conventional office towers. At ground level, the tower's unique layout allows for a dynamic gateway that carves through it to The Well's 'spine' — a tiered promenade capped with a large, undulating glazed canopy that enhances the flow and accessibility to the other office, retail, and residential spaces of the mixed-use complex.

Founding Partner David Pontarini stated that the firm is “pleased to be recognized by the CTBUH for a project that we believe is a unique and highly contextual reimagining of the office tower.” This philosophy is on full display in the building, reinterpreting traditional architectural norms while acknowledging the site's industrial heritage. 

As masterplan architects for the entire The Well development, Hariri Pontarini Architects was pivotal in establishing the site's comprehensive plan, which includes massing, key architectural moves, material choices, and overall design guidelines. The project was brought to life in collaboration with Adamson Associates as the executive architect and developed by RioCan REIT and Allied Properties REIT. Architects of other components of the complex include architects—Alliance, Wallman Architects, and BDP Quadrangle.

Looking north to 8 Spadina Avenue at The Well, image courtesy of Hariri Pontarini Architects

The CTBUH previously lauded Hariri Pontarini Architects with design excellence distinction for the mixed-use King Portland Centre, also in Toronto's King West District. The CTBUH stands as a premier authority on the development of skyscrapers and the urban environment, annually highlighting exceptional designs that enhance the capabilities and aesthetics of high-rise architecture and urban spaces.

In the wake of this accolade, Hariri Pontarini will showcase their project at the CTBUH 2024 International Conference. Taking place across London and Paris from September 23 to 27, 2024, it will see the announcement of the overall winners in each category during an awards ceremony.

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:  Adamson Associates Architects, ANTAMEX, architects—Alliance, ASSA ABLOY Canada Ltd., Bass Installation, BDP Quadrangle, BVGlazing Systems, CCxA, Doka Canada Ltd./Ltee, EQ Building Performance Inc., Figure3, Hariri Pontarini Architects, II BY IV DESIGN, Jablonsky, Ast and Partners, Knightsbridge, Kramer Design Associates Limited, Live Patrol Inc., LiveRoof Ontario Inc, LRI Engineering Inc., Mulvey & Banani, New Release Condo, Ontario Panelization, Peter McCann Architectural Models Inc., Pliteq, Precise ParkLink, Rebar Enterprises Inc, RioCan REIT, RJC Engineers, RWDI Climate and Performance Engineering, The Fence People, Tridel, Trillium Architectural Products, Unilux HVAC Industries Inc., Urban Strategies Inc., Vortex Fire Consulting Inc.