Honourable Mention Buildings
Address: 20 Niagara St.
Architect: Wallman Clewes Bergman Architects
Landscape Architect: James Floyd
Developer: Cohen & Alter Developments
I am really excited about this project and disappointed. The elegant, modern façade is a breath of fresh air in a marketplace that all too often demands a "neo-historical" approach to residential design. It is well scaled to the part, and its duplex apartments with large balconies stacked around private elevators without corridors is an important innovative housing type in cities. I regret that the ground level is so utilitarian, and inappropriate to a site facing a public park. The rear façade, with its air conditioners suspended by metal straps, is entirely too mean-spirited. One can only hope that a neighbouring building of equal height is soon erected to "correct" this shortcoming.
This development makes a positive contribution to an evolving, formerly industrial area. The project establishes a new animated edge for the public park, with a sophisticated composition of scale and materials.
This building is well massed to provide a strong edge to the park space and its orientation takes special advantage of the park space - that's a positive, mutually beneficial solution. I worry somewhat about the privatization of the public park, but the parallel pathway design in the park effectively moderates that possibility.