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Dutch firms plan 87-storey downtown Toronto high-rise

Dutch developers Kroonenberg Groep and ProWinko are proposing an 87-storey, mixed-use high-rise w...

IMAGE: Dutch developers Kroonenberg Groep and ProWinko are planning an 87-storey, mixed-use high-rise at the downtown Toronto intersection of Bay and Bloor.

Dutch developers Kroonenberg Groep and ProWinko are planning an 87-storey, mixed-use high-rise at the downtown Toronto intersection of Bay and Bloor. (Courtesy Herzog & de Meuron)

Dutch developers Kroonenberg Groep and ProWinko are proposing an 87-storey, mixed-use high-rise which would tower over the downtown Toronto intersection of Bay and Bloor Streets. If approved and built as proposed, it would be Canada’s tallest building.

The companies have appointed Swiss-based architectural firm Herzog & de Meuron and Canadian architects Quadrangle to design the building, which is proposed for the northwest corner of the intersection. The project is in the early planning stages and would require approval from the City of Toronto.

“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,” said Lesley Bamberger, owner of Kroonenberg Groep, in a release Wednesday which announced the proposed tower.

The long, narrow property is currently the site of a 12-storey office building.

It sits next to another site where private developer Krugerand Corp., proposed last year to construct a stepped, 79-storey tower containing about 1,400 condominium units and three storeys (about 77,ooo square feet) of retail and commercial space.

The Bay-Bloor high-rise

The first 16 floors of the Kroonenberg / ProWinko project would replace the existing retail, office and technical functions.

A private amenities level will separate these functions from the condominium levels above, which the companies say will be characterized by “generous daylight through the floor-to-ceiling operable windows which provide natural ventilation.”

External shutters would allow each individual user to regulate the daylight and heat load into their apartment.

A large restaurant, sky lounge and rentable spaces will occupy the highest three floors of the building with spectacular panoramic views over the City of Toronto.

At street level, residents will enter a triple-height lobby from Bloor Street and take one of four dedicated lifts to their condo level. Residences will range from one-bedroom to multi-level penthouses, totaling 332 condominium units spread over 64 floors.

If approved and constructed at its proposed height of 1,063 feet, the development would be taller even than the proposed Sky Tower, a 1,027-foot, 95-storey high-rise planned for the Pinnacle One Young development.

The CN Tower remains Canada’s tallest freestanding structure at 1,815 feet.

First Toronto project

IMAGE: A street-level view of the 87-storey tower proposed at Toronto's downtown Bay and Bloor intersection. (Courtesy Herzog & de Meuron)

A street-level view of the 87-storey tower proposed at Toronto’s downtown Bay and Bloor intersection. (Courtesy Herzog & de Meuron)

The tower marks Herzog & de Meuron’s first design in Toronto, with Quadrangle serving as project architect and Urban Strategies rounding out the design team.

The Bloor Street location places the building on a major east-west axis at the northern edge of the downtown core. It is also adjacent to one of the best-known shopping areas in Toronto.

The intersection with Bay Street is a strategic site within the neighbourhood and at the heart of a cluster of major new developments in the area.

The release says a “linear core at the western façade is proposed which maximizes the usable area of the floorplate, the aspect over Bay Street to the east and simultaneously provides privacy from any adjacent development to the west.”

The building will feature interior glazing (thermal envelope), exterior timber roller shades and an outer layer of transparent, open-jointed glass.

“The effect is a building which at times appears transparent and expressive – revealing the scale and activity within the building; and at other times, the reflective outer layer of glass gives the building an abstract quality, emphasizing its dramatic proportion,” the release states.

About Kroonenberg Groep

Kroonenberg Groep is an international developer, real estate investor and manager of retail space, workspace and residential space. It “realizes creative and sustainable tailor-made solutions that are completely in line with the needs of the market.”

About ProWinko

ProWinko’s roots lie in the Netherlands, where the company has been active since 1990. Its portfolio consists of “high-quality real estate at top locations in major city centres,” the company says.

It is currently active in six countries (Canada, the Netherlands, Belgium, Portugal, Luxembourg and Switzerland).

About Herzog & de Muron

Established in Basel in 1978, Herzog & de Meuron is a partnership led by Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron together with senior partners Christine Binswanger, Ascan Mergenthaler, Stefan Marbach, Esther Zumsteg, and Jason Frantzen.

An international team of nearly 500 collaborators including the two founders, five senior partners, eight partners and 42 associates work on projects across Europe, the Americas and Asia.

The main office is in Basel with additional offices in London, New York, Hong Kong, Berlin and Copenhagen.

The practice has designed a wide range of projects from private homes to large-scale urban design. Many projects are highly recognized public facilities, such as museums, stadiums and hospitals, along with private projects including offices, laboratories and apartment buildings.

Awards received include the Pritzker Architecture Prize (U.S.A.) in 2001 and the Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize (U.S.A.) in 2014.


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