The increase of urban density and the consequent reduction of usable spaces able to create quality experiences for users and public, especially where there is the need to move people efficiently and comfortably, have created great opportunities for new forms of architecture.
The uniqueness of the repositioning of 33 Bloor Street East is that is creating something relevant and positive out of a series of extremely challenging conditions at the busiest transit intersection in the core of the largest city in Canada and the fourth in North America.
The building is surprisingly bridging over the main subway line in Toronto and the concrete structures that support the tower above are massive; even the core does not touch the foundations. The resulting available spaces are all working around those extra-large columns and beams making them look and physically disconnected, the exact opposite of what the final goal of this renovation is.
A very effective way to unify this series of spaces is to have an organic volume that can morph around, adapt, stretch and expand where there is the need to define key locations; this organic volume is defined using equally spaced slices (fins) around it.
The introduction of this dynamic sculptural element, first a vision, then a sketch translated digitally in 3d shapes with the use of the latest generative design tools and algorithms for the optimal tailored solution, and finally fabricated, allows to completely reverse the original look, feel and use of this building with a single bold move.
Transforming a very dated and heavy looking post modern building public spaces like the lobby, transit corridors with facing retail areas with not significant street presence, this intervention has created a very bright and enjoyable interior promenade with attractive prominent street frontage with a sculptural and dynamic feature. The elements that are composing this “sculpture” are finished with high end solid materials that have the multiple duties of being practical, efficient, resist high pedestrian traffic, they are bright but at the same time elegant and timeless, all qualities that are needed for a prime office building lobby.
The same dynamic feature is also a key element for wayfinding because of the way it develops around the different size interconnected spaces and the forms that is sculpting as a result, are clearly and intuitively guiding the users to the directions in and out of the building while playfully “entertaining” them.
Not a single renovation project has received such positive effects to both users and owner and public approval at a key location under suck challenging condition with the use of a single move like this at 33 Bloor.
This project achieves and maximize all the above with the highest optimization of the functional spaces and available volumes with one main bold move.
Client: Epic Investment Services
Size: 29,153 m2 | 313,800 ft2
Cost: 21,375,475 CAD = 12,474,940 pounds
Scope of Service: Repositioning
Andrea Tocchini (WZMH Architects) – Lead Designer, Moran Olsha (WZMH Architects) – Project Managing Principal; Stephen Kaye (Mulvey & Banani Lighting) - Lighting Designer
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