Herzog & de Meuron designs an ultra-slender skyscraper

A mixed-use supertall tower designed by Herzog & de Meuron is set to rise above the northwest corner of Bloor and Bay Streets in Toronto’s Yorkville neighborhood. The glass-encased, ultra-slender 87-storey skyscraper will be the first building to be designed by the Swiss firm, with Quadrangle serving as project architect.

The toothpick-thin tower’s bottom sixteen floors will be dedicated to offices and retail space. Above this will be 332 condominium units, ranging from one-bedrooms to multi-level penthouses, spread across 64 floors accessible by a quartet of dedicated elevators through a triple-height private lobby on Bloor Street.

A southwest view of 1200 Bay, a planned supertall for Toronto. (Courtesy Herzog & de Meuron) via ctbuh.org.

A “private amenities level” will provide a buffer between the lower commercial floors and the residential floors above. The top three floors will be home to a sky lounge, restaurant, and rentable event spaces.

“Providing diversity in the proposed program is an important component of the building’s approach to sustainability and enhancing the vibrancy of the local community,” reads the announcement, noting that the residential floors will be “characterized by generous daylight through the floor-to-ceiling operable windows which provide natural ventilation.”

“The proposal is 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,” says the announcment. “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.”

While this is the second Toronto project to be developed by Dutch real estate development company ProWinko, it’s the first for Kroonenberg Geoep, who commissioned Herzog & de Meuron alongside ProWinko.

“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.

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