One challenge that developers continue to struggle with is coming up with unique designs. When there are over 300 active high-rise projects in a city, it’s hard to stand out.
To overcome this challenge at 2221 Yonge St., Russell Masters and his team at Tower Hill Development sought out a top notch group of architects to design the project. Tower Hill has brought on New York-based Pei Partnership Architects, who will be working with Toronto-based Quadrangle Architects.
PEI Architects, founded by Chien Chung “Didi” Pei and Li Chung “Sandi” Pei, has a long resume of intriguing towers situated all over the world, with more than five million square meters of space directed by the firm.
We had the opportunity to visit the Quadrangle Architects office, where Sandi Pei and architect Toh Tsun Lim were introducing 2221 Yonge.
“When we decided to move forward with 2221 Yonge, I decided to call Pei and was fortunate enough to get in contact with Sandi. After a quick trip to New York, my brother and I knew who we wanted as the architect for this project,” said Masters. “In my mind, Toronto is the mecca of condominiums in North America, if not the world. We have exceptional local architects and developers, but we also have become a victim of our own success. There is such a plethora of condominiums being built here, that they now all are starting to look the same. When you look around the city, you can usually tell which architect designed which building, just by the look of it.”
Sandi Pei commented, “We wanted to find something very new, but also very enduring. A tower that would add and contribute to the fabric of the neighbourhood.” In the design of 2221 Yonge, Pei Partnership’s Toh Tsun Lim took the lead.
“What we have is a 56-storey tower on a unique site. The podium on the base of the building will be home to a series of apartments, as well as retail on the Yonge Street side. One of the things that we wanted to do was respect the streetscape, as well as our neighbours on Yonge Street. We created a podium that matches the streetline while creating a very thin frame system with cladding stone and marble,” Lim explained. “Instead of having a very long, thick building, we opted to do a very narrow building, which allowed us to keep ourselves as far away from the adjacent tower as possible. On top of that, we were able to shape the south side to give the building a real sculptural quality.”
The tower at 2221 Yonge will rise from a six-storey podium. Amenities will include a 56th-floor sky lounge, a resort-inspired spa, and a state-of-the-art fitness area. Suites, starting at $199,999, will range from 386 to 997 square feet.
Masters seems very happy with the initial design, and is obviously looking forward to the official launch of the project: “Our only instructions to Sandi and Toh Tsun were that we didn’t want another glass tower – we gave them free reign. Well, we are blown away by what Sandi and Toh Tsun have done here.”
We cannot wait until this project moves forward some more! With this design and the low starting price, we’re sure that there are many others who will also be keeping tabs on this great project presented by Tower Hill Developments, PEI Architects, and Quadrangle Architects.
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