Toronto, Ontario2001 Completed ● $20M ● 16,725 m2residential
District Lofts helped to transform a former downtown employment zone into a vibrant community of restaurants, clubs and high-rise residential buildings; at the same time it maintained the urban character of a street lined with the vestigial four- and five-storey warehouses of the city’s former printing and fashion district. The design response to this narrow, canyon-like street condition is a hybrid that fuses the best features of two familiar urban typologies: the high-rise apartment slab and the low-rise townhouse. A robust base programmed with shops and cafés, topped by two storeys of public parking, encourages foot traffic and takes parked cars off the street. Above, ten of the 11 residential floors are programmed with two-storey through units that evoke the domestic character of the townhouse within the compact footprint of a mid-rise tower. The majority of these units are located in a pair of single-loaded slabs serviced by skip stop elevators on alternating floors. The towers are separated a shared courtyard, and bridged by catwalks on floors 7, 9, 11 and 13.