Herzog & de Meuron in Toronto

John Hill
3. June 2020
Visualization © Herzog & de Meuron

Swiss architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron are designing a slender 87-story mixed-use tower on Toronto's Mink Mile that would be the tallest building in Canada if completed.

At 324 meters (1063'), the tower at the northwest corner of Bay and Bloor streets would be the tallest in Canada, besting the 45-year-old First Canadian Place in Toronto's Financial District by 26 meters (85'). The tower would require the demolition of an existing building, with the first 16 floors of the new tower replacing the retail and office functions from its predecessor. Above would be amenities levels for residents then 64 floors with 332 condos. The top three floors would have a restaurant, sky lounge, and rentable spaces offering panoramic views.

Looking south toward Downtown Toronto (Visualization © Herzog & de Meuron)

The most distinctive aspects of the design, whose imagery is limited to the three renderings shown here, are the elongated rectangular plan of the tower and the glass facade. The first arises from the footprint of the existing corner building and gives the proposed tower a slender profile when seen from the north or the south. This footprint also means the elevators are positioned along one of the long facades: the west, where it would abut an equally tall tower proposed by a different developer. The second aspect, the transparent exterior, is described in a press release as "a layered expression of the vertical structural elements, interior glazing (thermal envelope), exterior timber roller shades and an outer layer of transparent, open-jointed glass."

Looking north along Bay Street (Visualization © Herzog & de Meuron)

Herzog & de Meuron is working with Canadian architects Quadrangle and designing the tower for Kroonenberg Groep and ProWinko, two developers from The Netherlands. The newly unveiled project is the first designed by Herzog & de Meuron for Candada, and it is also the first Canadian project for the pair of developers. No timeline is provided in the press release, but an article at The Globe and Mail indicates that "the tower, like all major buildings in Toronto, would require amendments to planning policies that typically take years."

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