101 Yorkville

101 Yorkville 

Our approach for a small commercial redevelopment in downtown Toronto questions what street retail can be in the twenty-first century — more specifically, in dense, mixed-use urban neighbourhoods undergoing massive change. Acting on the public realm by giving public spaces back to the city, the proposal merges civic and commercial life.

Location
Toronto, ON
Type
Commercial
Stories
4 storeys
Taking cues from the neighbourhood’s fabric and rich history, a narrow mews cuts through the site, restoring a lost mid-block connection and expanding on the existing network of Victorian era pedestrian laneways. The project’s diagonal is the natural urban response to reviving this lost fabric by providing a publicly accessible, commercially charged, open to the sky connection, animated by a variety of stacked uses: retail, office, dining and art galleries, spilling into the newly reclaimed outdoor spaces. 
Animated through three “urban rooms” forecourt, passage and courtyard — the design focuses on a community-centered retail strategy. 
Three distinct buildings vary in height maximizing sun exposure and quality of light.  The prominent wall kink creates juxtaposing experience of compression and reflection in the lower portion, while opening to the sky in the upper. Local to Eastern Canada, natural, sun-absorbing stone, draws the pedestrian closer to the façade further enhancing the pedestrian-retail dynamic. 

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