BIG King West Condos Summery
489 to 539 King St. W. Condos is a new condo development by Westbank Corp & Allied Properties REIT. This new development will be at 489 to 539 King St. West, Toronto with a 100/100 walk score and a 100/100 transit score. The famous architecture Bjarke Ingels will design this development and the vision will feature what he calls “pixelated” patterns with “peaks”. There will be a street level courtyard for the King West community. Private terraces will be available at some units. 489 to 539 King St. W. Condos is still in the planning phase, please follow the project for updates.
A complex interplay of stacked rectilinear volumes characterizes the project’s impact in the local skyline. Preserving some of the established character along the King West street wall, the massing strategy would see the tallest volumes set back from the street, with a number of restored heritage buildings at ground level.
Rising to a maximum height of 17 storeys, the varied rectilinear volumes surround a large interior courtyard, designed to invite both residents and passerby into a more intimate communal environment. Above, the rectilinear volumes are topped by extensive greenery, which will be appointed by the Toronto-based Public Work.
Fronting 189 metres of King Street, the site includes heritage properties at 511 through 529 King West. Meanwhile, the contemporary forms surrounding these around them would recede from the street, inviting pedestrians into the courtyard while deferring a measure of aesthetic prominence to the site’s historic buildings.
Throughout the residential levels, the configuration of stacked volumes maximizes residents’ outdoor space, with units facing out onto a tight collage of terraces. As it stands, approximately 500 residential units are planned for the development, which follows Allied’s previous proposal for a 12-storey Sweeny& Co-designed office building on the site.
Bjarke Ingels-Designed Twisted Two-Tower Building, The XI, Launches Sales
The first penthouse hits the market for $28 million
The first 14 luxury residences at The XI, two twisted towers designed by starchitect Bjarke Ingels in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan, hit the market Thursday.
The apartments range from a one-bedroom, asking $2.85 million, to a five-bedroom penthouse asking $28 million, according to the developer, HFZ Capital Group.
The XI, also known as The Eleventh for its location on 11th Avenue, is a $1.9-billion mixed-use development, featuring two asymmetrical 26- and 36-story towers with travertine-and-bronze facades.
Drawing inspiration from New York City’s classic modernist structures and cultural institutions, starchitect Bjarke Ingels utilized his signature skewing geometry to give both towers expansive views of the High Line, Hudson River and Manhattan skyline.
We want to give the world something that it has not yet seen—and therefore it doesn’t fit into any boxes,” Mr. Ingels said in a statement.
The XI offers multiple retail spaces, restaurants, an art gallery, a public promenade adjacent to The High Line, as well as the first U.S. destination of Six Senses, a Bangkok-based global operator of luxury hotels, resorts and spas.
There will be 236 luxury apartments in the two towers, including a collection of full-floor and half-floor penthouses on the top floors.
The first penthouse listed, PH32A in the West Tower (No. I), spans 5,663 square feet on half of the floor, including five bedrooms, full bathrooms and one partial bath. It also has a 239-square-foot outdoor terrace.
The second most expensive apartment being released is a 3,373-square-foot four-bedroom in the East Tower (No. X), with a price tag of $12 million.
Bjarke Ingels Serpentine Pavilion comes to Toronto as ‘Unzipped’
September 13. 2018- Canadian development firm Westbank has reconstructed the 2016 Serpentine Pavilion in downtown Toronto. bringing it back to life in the public realm as it begins a multi-city tour — a first for a Serpentine Pavilion. Designed by one of the world’s leading architecture firms. BIG — Bjarke Ingels Group, the temporary structure is located at King and Brant Streets and will open to the public on Saturday. September 15. Unzipped will provide Torontonians and visitors to the city with an exceptional. curated experience making it a must-see destination throughout its fall 2018 run.
The Pavilion — made of 1802 stacked fibreglass ‘bricks’, stands 14 metres (46 feet) tall at its apex, 27 metres (88.5 feet) long and 12 metres (39 feet) wide — was disassembled in London following its 2016 run by the Serpentine Gallery and transported to North America for re-assembly in Toronto. This is the first time a Serpentine Pavilion has made its way to North America. Here it will play host to Unzipped, Westbank’s newest exhibition. Unzipped will showcase an intimate collaboration between developer and architect, where every element of design is considered in relation to its site, environment and the city in which it will stand.
The exhibit exemplifies the shared ideas of Westbank and BIG, drawing a correlation between architecture, culture and city-building. This BIG and Westbank collaboration of patronage and design is also a rare client and architect relationship, where vision and mission seamlessly combine. The partnership which started with the Vancouver House in 2011, offers a fresh approach to where the future of city and building development could migrate. “Regardless of the city we’re operating in, we view beauty as an indispensable integral aspect of architecture alongside durability and utility,” says Ian Gillespie, founder of Westbank. ‘We challenge the thinking that there is not a synergy between architecture and beauty, by infusing accessible art and culture into every project for residents and visitors to experience.
At the entrance of the Pavilion, visitors will be introduced to the concept of Gesamtkunstwerk — or total design — a philosophy re-invigorated and employed by Westbank in all of its projects — and one which BIG models in its own practice. The design philosophy will come to life as visitors wander through the exhibition.
In curating the exhibition, BIG followed the logic of the original Serpentine design while adding a new layer of discovery to the experience of walking through the Pavilion. BIG is using the modular fibreglass frames as shelves for ten projects and locating large scale models along the spine of the sheltered valley interior. The project displays are organized to highlight the design principles and blend with the geometry of the Pavilion, enabling the visitors to experience both the content of the exhibition and the pavilion itself in a symbiotic way. For the Serpentine Pavilion in 2016 located in London’s Kensington Garden, BIG designed a structure that embodies multiple aspects that are often perceived as opposites: a structure that is free-form yet rigorous, modular yet sculptural, both transparent and opaque, both box and blob. BIG worked with one of the most basic elements of architecture: the brick wall. Rather than clay bricks or stone blocks – the wall is erected from extruded fibreglass frames stacked on top of each other. When “unzipped”, the straight wall turns into two sine curves that create an interior cavity within it to house the events. ‘We liked this idea that, quite often, interesting things happen when you change seemingly incompatible elements and you combine them into a new hybrid,” said Bjarke Ingels, founder of BIG. “I think we tried to make a structure, that in an effortless way, combines many differences.”
The presence of the pavilion changes as you move around it and through it. The north-south elevation is a perfect rectangle. The east-west silhouette is an undulating sculptural silhouette. Towards the east-west the Pavilion is completely opaque and material. Towards the north-south it is entirely transparent and practically immaterial. Presence becomes absence. Orthogonal becomes curvilinear. Structure becomes gesture. The Pavilion has now been painstakingly recreated in Toronto, where Westbank and BIG are actively working on the King street residences where the Pavilion currently resides. Toronto is the first stop in what is planned to be a multi-city tour —the first of its kind for a Serpentine Pavilion — before ultimately landing in Vancouver in its permanent home beside Westbank’s Shaw Tower on the waterfront. Its re-assembly and activation as an exhibition space is an important moment in architecture for both the Pavilion and Toronto.
By day, the Pavilion and Unzipped exhibition will be open to the public free of charge and in the evening, the innovative space will be a hub for cultural events and lectures that bring Westbank’s commitment to building artistry and community engagement to life.
We look forward to sharing more information about the proposed development as details continue to emerge.
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Shopify will invest up to $500-million in new Toronto office
Fast growing e-commerce platform Shopify Inc. says it will invest as much as half-a-billion dollars into its forthcoming Toronto office, in a large downtown development where it plans to house thousands of new employees.
The Ottawa-based company’s neon-green shopping-bag beacon is expected to top the 38-storey skyscraper at the corner of Front Street West and Spadina Avenue when The Well complex, jointly owned by Allied Properties REIT and RioCan REIT, opens in 2022. Shopify’s investment and its anchor-tenant logo rights are part of a 15-year deal that Michael Scace, who brokered the transaction, said is one of the biggest-ever completed in the King West market on the edge of Toronto’s downtown core.
Shopify, which was announced as a tenant of the Well earlier in September, will occupy 253,000 square feet over four podium floors, with the option to expand to 434,000 higher up the building. The company currently has three offices across Toronto and will open another next year, but hopes to consolidate its employees in the city in the one complex.
Shopify’s expansion comes at a moment when historic volumes of venture capital are flowing to Canadian scale-up companies, while global players such as Uber Technologies Inc. and LG Electronics Inc. are setting up local shops, driving real estate demand. Earlier this month, Microsoft Corp. announcedthat it would move its Canadian headquarters to a building currently under construction at 81 Bay St., occupying four floors and hiring 500 more staff.
In May, chief executive Tobi Lutke told The Globe and Mail that he wanted the company to grow beyond a merchant-focused e-commerce platform to become a broad platform for retail entrepreneurship.
Shopify has more than 3,000 employees, including in Montreal and Waterloo, Ont.; its presence in Toronto has grown to 700 staff from just one employee six years ago. That first employee, Craig Miller, is now its chief product officer and its senior executive in the city. In an interview, Mr. Miller said the investment was an opportunity to further frame Toronto and Canada as global technology contenders.
“We’re talking about thousands and thousands that we’re looking to bring on in the Toronto area,” Mr. Miller said. “… I think this gives Canada a really good shot at being able to push the envelope in terms of commerce and retail technology.”
The broker, Mr. Scace, a senior vice-president with Cushman & Wakefield, said that “it used to be a large transaction like this was reserved for the banks, insurance companies and law firms — but that’s just not the case any more.”
His firm recently published a report that found that tech companies have “transformed” Toronto’s downtown real estate market, and that the tech-centric King West submarket had an overall availability rate of 1.7 per cent, with “ferocious” demand.
Allied has redeveloped much of the King West neighbourhood amid its two-decade transition into a hub for tech, advertising and media companies. The Well complex, said Allied CEO Michael Emory, “represents the full iteration and full completion of the potential of the King and Spadina market.”
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