Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Sixty Colborne Presentation Centre in Toronto, Canada by Johnson Chou Inc.
November 1st, 2012 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: Johnson Chou Inc.
Sixty Colborne is a 3,300 SF condominium presentation centre comprised of a sales area and a model suite created for Freed Developments and located in the St. Lawrence historical district of downtown Toronto.
To create a building of paradoxes much like it’s site: a building of simple form juxtaposed against a context of a cacophony of form, detail and colour; to create a building passive by day and active at night; direct access from exterior yet complex interior movement and parti.
1. To create a building and interior that appears and is experienced such that it encourages within the visitor a sense of detachment to the surroundings. This design strategy is intended to ensure that the potential purchaser is made aware of the project’s central downtown location and the unique historical character of the neighbourhood. The concept is to create a building that is an apparatus for viewing and to be viewed. Strategies include “lifting” the building from the street and utilizing white as the predominant colour to contrast the interior from the exterior views.
2. Heightened sense of movement and view. With the glass walls on the north and east sides of the building allowing views directly into the interior of the sales centre, one is drawn to the building by it’s interior elements and the model suite facing King Street. As one walks around the building the “architectural promenade” begins at the gentle ramp that leads to the entrance of the building and the reception desk.
At the reception desk one has a view of St. James Cathedral ‐ the interior of the sales centre functioning as a framing device focussing and defining the view. The visitor then proceeds past the lounge and a cylindrical acid‐etched glass partition and into an intimate corridor that exhibits the “Builder’s Story”. From there the corridor expands to a suspended panel exhibiting the suite plans (which are individually removable) and the material sample finishes. There is yet another view of the cathedral that is gradually exposed with the model of the development.
The space then opens up into a gathering area that includes a glowing touchscreen monitor wall, architectural model and closing tables, all against the backdrop of the cathedral. The monitors, plans, materials and model are intended for the purposes of the sales agents to work in unison. From this open space one enters the model suite, a prototypical 600SF suite that includes living/dining, library, bedroom and bathing areas.
3. An active and passive building. By day the building and it’s interior is passive – a space of calm against the movement and activity of the exterior, framing views of its context. At night the interior lights turn off automatically and a pair of projectors illuminate (by means of a special film) the glass walls that transform the clear glass walls into projection screens. A video of the proposed development is projected onto the glass. The model suite is also illuminated in the evening to attract evening passerbys.
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