December 2015

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90 | DECEMBER 2015 FIVE Condos at 5 St. Joseph PHOTOGRAPHY + RENDERING COURTESY HARIRI PONTARINI ARCHITECTS FIVE Condos at 5 St. Joseph by ROBIN BRUNET R efurbishing heritage buildings and augmenting them with new high- rise homes is nothing new; it's a necessity in any city that respects the past but must also accommodate a steady volume of new residents. But FIVE Condos in downtown Toronto on St. Joseph and Yonge streets, by Five St. Joseph Developments Ltd. – which was formed by Graywood Developments Ltd. and MOD Developments Inc. – sets a precedent in achieving the largest in site retention of a historic facade ever under- taken in the city. Viewed from a skyline perspective, FIVE Condos' 528-foot tall, 48-storey tower, with its two-toned glazing and undulating balcony shroud articulated with fritted glass, adds 539 residential suites to an area of the city that is experi- encing rapid densification. Key to the suc- cess of the 458,000-square-foot project was the restoration at street level of five Victorian brick buildings along Yonge that dates back to the 1880s, as well as a 1905 Gothic revival brick facade of an old four- storey warehouse on St. Joseph Street. The contrast between old and new is striking thanks to the expertise of Hariri Pontarini Architects in collaboration with heritage restoration consultant ERA Architects. Inside, FIVE Condos features Cecconi Simone Inc.-designed kitchens with custom cabinetry and multi-level islands, granite or Corian countertops, and sophisticated hardwood flooring. Public areas include the elegant 10,000-square-foot FIVE ON FIVE bar/dining room and cocktail lounge; men's and women's club rooms offer wet and dry steams; and there's also a 6,000-square-foot outdoor roof garden with a fire pit that Toronto landscape architect Janet Rosenberg augmented with large growing trees and planters. The tower suites are complemented by 14 heritage lofts on the second and third floors of the historic base, and the refurbished structures also accommo- date new retail outlets. Meanwhile, the addition of newly configured punched windows to the three-brick-deep wall of the warehouse (formerly the home of the defunct moving company Rawlinson Cartage) effectively repurposes the edi- fice as the front of the condominium's podium and archway entrance. To top everything off, situated between the his- toric homes and the new tower is a revi- talized laneway that connects to a series of pedestrian laneways leading from Charles to Wellesley streets. This bold old meets new approach dis- tinguishes FIVE in a highly competitive market, and to say the project was a con- siderable design and construction chal- lenge would be an understatement. Like any heritage building, the existing ware- house was not structurally designed to take the load of a tower or the impact of construction, nor would retaining the entirety of the building allow for under- ground parking. This, along with the fact that the City of Toronto encourages add- ing density while retaining the original character of a building or neighbourhood, led to Hariri Pontarini setting the new tower more than 25 metres back from the face of the heritage buildings "so that they could be sensitively integrated into the podium and properly restored," according to partner David Pontarini. The preservation of the warehouse facade during construction was a major undertaking. It had to be suspended on a massive steel bracing system over the excavation site and tied back onto the street diagonally with a series of micro- piles for a full year of construction – the largest retention of its kind ever accom- plished in Toronto. Meanwhile, a facade to the west had to be created to match the warehouse, which meant specific bricks had to be imported from the United Kingdom and heritage masons employed. Fortunately, the five Victorian build- ings on Yonge Street "were in relatively good shape, owing to the original solid masonry structure," says ERA project architect Ryan Love. "Also, the decision to set back the new tower allowed us to retain building depths of up to 12 metres. Only the non-original additions and back- yards, which were in a dismal state, were demolished in order to make way for the adjoining podium and roof terrace." Cecconi Simone Inc. partner Anna Simone says every effort in repurpos- ing the heritage buildings' interiors was made to retain the original's "huge tex- tural, tactile appeal," and respect for the site's gritty, historical elements was carried through into the tower interiors. "The woods and metals we used had raw finishes, the lines were less crisp, and we emphasized posts and beams," she says. The team from Janet Rosenberg & Studio Inc. was tasked with bringing the streetscape, laneway and upper ter- races of the renovated heritage build- ings to life with large growing trees, planters, pavers and assorted green- ery. "Perhaps the biggest challenge of the project wasn't the architectural ele- ments but obtaining approval from the city for every single design proposal," says Janet Rosenberg. "There's no flex- ibility in this regard when you have a built form like the heritage buildings, and we were careful to respect the structures, going so far as to relocate public art to one corner so it wouldn't obscure the beautiful facades." ERA Architects' Love echoes the sen- timents of his colleagues when he says, "For a variety of reasons, FIVE Condos was a benchmark project. Given that there is no business improvement asso- ciation currently in the neighbourhood, it needed to set a strong precedent for future applications. In the end we were able to achieve a huge amount of den- sity on a small site, while still working with the existing grain. We're extremely happy with the outcome." A LOCATION 5 St. Joseph Street, Toronto, Ontario OWNER/DEVELOPER Five St. Joseph Developments Ltd. (Graywood Developments Ltd. / MOD Developments Inc.) DESIGN ARCHITECT Hariri Pontarini Architects HERITAGE ARCHITECT ERA Architects GENERAL CONTRACTOR 5SJ Construction Management STRUCTURAL CONSULTANT Read Jones Christoffersen Ltd. MECHANICAL/ELECTRICAL CONSULTANT ABLE Engineering Inc. INTERIOR DESIGN Cecconi Simone Inc. LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT Janet Rosenberg & Studio Inc. TOTAL SIZE 458,000 square feet TOTAL COST Undisclosed UNIVERSITY PLUMBING AND HEATING LTD. Specializing in Plumbing, Heating, Air Conditioners & Fire Protection for high-rise and commercial projects. Proud supporters of the FIVE - Condos at 5 St. Joseph project. MARIo FATToRE Cell: 416.587.4846 | EM: 3655 Keele Street | Toronto, ON | Tel: 416.630.6010 Em: | U N I V E R S I T Y P L U M B I N G A N D H E A T I N G L T D • Universal Plumb.indd 1 15-10-19 10:30 Do you have a project of interest to our readers? If you would like your project to be considered for a future issue of Award, please email: Dan Chapman, Publisher

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