Herzog & de Meuron envisions 1200 Bay Street as Canada’s tallest skyscraper

The Switzerland-based Pritzker winning firm presents the design of an 87-storey, 324m high tower as a residential landmark in the Yorkville neighbourhood of Toronto.

by STIRworld Published on : Jun 09, 2020

Herzog & de Meuron, along with Canadian studio Quadrangle, recently revealed the design of Canada's tallest skyscraper - a 324m high building commissioned by Dutch real estate company, Kroonenberg Groep and ProWinko.

Conceived as a mixed-use tower that rises upto 87 storeys, it marks Herzog & de Meuron's debut in Toronto.

The building is sited on the northwest corner of Bay and Bloor Street in the Yorkville neighbourhood; the former hosts one of the city’s best-known shopping areas while the latter is surrounded by clusters of new retail developments.

The building referred to as 1200 Bay Street draws its name from the site itself – a parcel of land purchased by the clients in 2016 for USD 86.75 million. The project was initially thought of as a high-end office space in the mink mile shopping district of Yorkville, but later it shifted its focus to be a complete residential development.

1200 Bay Street | Herzog & de Meuron | Toronto | STIRworld
A view of the tower from the corner of the street Image Credit: ©️ Herzog & de Meuron

Currently the site has a 1960s era commercial mid-rise, which has a mix of offices and retail spaces. With plans for it to get replaced by the skyscraper, the new development will host an array of programmes.

Upon entering the building through the Bloor Street, people arrive at a triple-height lobby where one of the four elevators take them to the floors above.

The first 16 storeys of the building will host private amenities while the upper floors will be condominiums. Over 332 condominiums ranging from one bedroom flat to multi-level penthouses will be part of the development. The top three floors will occupy a sweeping restaurant, a sky lounge and rental spaces – each framing panoramic views of the Toronto skyline.

The ultra-slender and supertall tower volume will have its height three times more than its width. The design aims to maximise the usable floor area and privacy from adjacent developments, while also capitalising on eastern views.

1200 Bay Street | Herzog & de Meuron | Toronto | STIRworld
Timber roller shades and reflective glass on the facadeImage Credit: ©️ Herzog & de Meuron

"Providing diversity in the proposed program is an important component of the building’s approach to sustainability and enhancing the vibrancy of the local community," states the announcement.

On the façade, the architects have proposed timber roller shades and a reflective layer of open-jointed glass, while on the inside the residential units will have floor to ceiling windows and shutters to control daylight.

"This is an iconic block in the neighbourhood and Toronto at large. We have an opportunity to deliver a project that sets a new benchmark for design and strives to give something back to the city," says Lesley Bamberger, owner of Kroonenberg Groep.

Once complete, the project would supersede the currently under construction project by Foster + Partners – the One skyscaper – which is expected to rise till 306m.

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