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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
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.

100 Broadview Lobby in Toronto, Canada by Quadrangle Architects

 
July 21st, 2016 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: Quadrangle Architects

A self-storage facility beneath a new condominium at the corner of two busy streets, 100 Broadview was an unremarkable and rather awkward brick and beam building in Toronto’s east end. For this building’s transformation, real estate investment and development group Hullmark engaged Quadrangle Architects with the goal of creating an accessible and attractive lobby, targeting new-economy tenants. To entice the intended demographic, Hullmark wanted to make a bold statement at grade—something that would demarcate 100 Broadview as a creative hub.

Now with a clearly-marked entryway, 100 Broadview is a visible and accessible space tailored to the types of tenants the client wants to attract, Image Courtesy © Ben Rahn/A-Frame

Now with a clearly-marked entryway, 100 Broadview is a visible and accessible space tailored to the types of tenants the client wants to attract, Image Courtesy © Ben Rahn/A-Frame

  • Architects: Quadrangle Architects
  • Project: 100 Broadview Lobby
  • Location: Toronto, Canada
  • Photography: Brandon Barré, Ben Rahn/A-Frame
  • Client: Hullmark Developments
  • Team: Richard Witt, Caroline Robbie, Jan Schotte, Julie Mroczkowski, Nariman Mousavi, Matthew Suriano
  • Mechanical & Electrical engineers: Integral Group
  • Contractor: Fox Contracting Ltd.
  • Feature sign: Pengelly Iron Works
  • Branding films: TI Group
  • Feature lights: Bocci
  • Year: January 2016

Now with a clearly-marked entryway, 100 Broadview is a visible and accessible space tailored to the types of tenants the client wants to attract, Image Courtesy © Ben Rahn/A-Frame

Now with a clearly-marked entryway, 100 Broadview is a visible and accessible space tailored to the types of tenants the client wants to attract, Image Courtesy © Ben Rahn/A-Frame

Beyond 100 Broadview’s virtual invisibility, it was also inaccessible: the entryway denied direct, barrier-free access, forcing entrants to climb a few feet to the “ground floor” or descend a few steps to the lower level. Hallways lacked signage or wayfinding, creating further confusion and discouraging tenancy.

The ground floor was opened up into a dramatic lobby with a series of stairs and ramps, seamlessly integrating accessible design, Image Courtesy © Brandon Barré

The ground floor was opened up into a dramatic lobby with a series of stairs and ramps, seamlessly integrating accessible design, Image Courtesy © Brandon Barré

Quadrangle’s mandate for this design was to upgrade 100 Broadview by embracing the building’s potential and history, infusing it with a contemporary spirit that would not only transform it into an attractive, well-designed space, but also a vibrant, neighbourhood hub while providing a wise investment in the property for the long-term.

Giving up leasable space, the building’s owner saw value in creating an interesting internal landscape and making 100 Broadview a distinct address, Image Courtesy © Brandon Barré

Giving up leasable space, the building’s owner saw value in creating an interesting internal landscape and making 100 Broadview a distinct address, Image Courtesy © Brandon Barré

Quadrangle’s solution starts with a bright orange sign hanging above the lobby entrance, contrasting with the red brick and grey mortar façade, giving the building an identity and clearly marking the entrance. Their big move was to cut out the slab and transform the lion’s share of the ground level into a dramatic lobby. They designed a concrete ramp that zigzags downwards, drawing users to both the upper and basement levels with a sense of depth and movement. Intersecting the ramp are stairs downwards, marked with orange visibility strips, and a blackened steel staircase with wood treads leads upwards. These elements overlap, creating a textured and grand entrance to the building.

Quadrangle’s custom-designed colourful and icon-based wayfinding elements are carried through the building’s hallways and shared areas, Image Courtesy © Ben Rahn/A-Frame

Quadrangle’s custom-designed colourful and icon-based wayfinding elements are carried through the building’s hallways and shared areas, Image Courtesy © Ben Rahn/A-Frame

The team’s demolition of the floor plate and the dynamic lobby created in its stead have given new life to this once ill-defined space. This balance of industrial elements, inviting warmth and dynamic colour define an entryway that welcomes creative and innovative thought, as well as congregation and rest. With the feature ramp creating a path for users of mobility devices and the bright colours producing high-contrast pathways for those with visual impairments, 100 Broadview demonstrates how universal design goes beyond mere accessibility.

Quadrangle’s custom-designed colourful and icon-based wayfinding elements are carried through the building’s hallways and shared areas, Image Courtesy © Ben Rahn/A-Frame

Quadrangle’s custom-designed colourful and icon-based wayfinding elements are carried through the building’s hallways and shared areas, Image Courtesy © Ben Rahn/A-Frame

Image Courtesy © Quadrangle Architects

Image Courtesy © Quadrangle Architects

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Category: Lobby

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