Architects and developers with a vision can make their mark in the city of Toronto. The amount of construction going on is unfathomable. Amid the excitement of development and restoration, certain projects stand out as exemplars of the best of modern urban design. This is clearly evident in the 1 Yonge mixed-use master plan community in the waterfront district (see here). The synergy of Pinnacle International and Hairiri Pontarini Architects has produced a new multiple-tower project in preconstruction that will transform the character and skyline of the famed area. Luxury urban lifestyles are the forte of the team and their experience and skill in redeveloping fallow areas is well known. Success Tower and 33 Bay St. Condos were harbingers of what was to come. Innovation imbues every project conceived. You only have to witness the notoriety of Amber Condos, the Pinnacle on Adelaide, Perla Towers, and Crystal at Pinnacle Uptown to know that 1 Yonge will be groundbreaking.
Pinnacle is one of Canada’s leading builders, headquartered in Vancouver, involved in development for thirty years specializing in residential high rises, hotels, and commercial space. Their work has enriched neighborhoods across the country, extending to San Diego, California. Their hometown landmarks, in the ballpark of 20 or more projects, have received widespread praise. Working with the firm of Hairiri Pontarini in Toronto is a coup. Each of their designs has widened the definition of contemporary architecture. To Hairiri and Pontarini, an award winning partnership, a façade is never just a shell for condos and lobbies. It is a skin or living organism made of metal, concrete, and glass that wraps the interior in its loving arms. Windows and balconies hint at what is inside. The aesthetic, the practical, the uplifting, and the luxurious form a harmonious amalgam of form and function. A linear orientation never defines a mere box. Every skyscraper is imbued with exquisite details and a patterning of geometric shapes.
The towers at 1 Yonge are another challenge that Hairiri and Pontarini and Pinnacle can easily meet. Together, they know how to create a hub within a larger context that will draw the eye inward and upward. They work within the restrictions of quality, taste and the needs of the local environment. Collaborations are the forte of the best and most experienced practitioners. The spectacular results will be clearly on display at the new complex. It is fortunate for local residents that the architectural design firm works mainly in Toronto so they can continue to be the recipients of their forward-looking innovation.