The housing initiative at 60 Richmond East Toronto, Ontario is a unique and dynamic volume of space. Comparable to an abstract form, such as a sculptural composition, it presents a contrast between several volumes.
This housing co-operative is a project designed by the outstanding Teeple Architects and was completed in March 2010. The aim of this design was to incorporate a green environment within the urban city, which lead to an award for LEED Gold certification for environmental stewardship — how awesome!
Other prestigious awards include Ontario Association of Architects Design Excellence Award of 2010 and the Canadian Architect Award Excellence of 2007.
The development is eleven stories in height and consists of eighty-five units that differentiate in use and function. The housing co-operative, which includes industry and hospitality workers and their families, includes a restaurant on the main level and a terrace to grow fruits and vegetables. Integrating housing and employment opportunities, the restaurant - run by the residents themselves - included a comprehensive training program for developing and improving culinary and operational food services skills.
I admire Teeple Architects for taking the initiative to incorporate environmental friendly aspects within the design which hopefully will encourage other Canadian developers and architects to do the same.
As seen in the image above, some environmental initiatives include utilizing rainwater from the roof to maintain the kitchen garden, which in turn, grows the supplies needed for cooking. Also, raw waste from the restaurant acts as compost for the garden — little is squandered carelessly.
Teeple Architects refrained from building the conventional multi-unit midrise typical to Toronto and other urban centres. Instead, the form of this building is similar to a stack of 'jenga' blocks, with protrusions and voids which creates both visual interest, more opportunities for natural light, and interior courtyards.
Various sustainable elements were essential for the low maintenance of the building. Selected materials such as insulated fibre cement cladding served to maintain energy costs, while still providing resilience.
The use of grey and white cladding with inserts of color on the balconies creates an attractive aesthetic. Who wouldn’t want to live here?
The interior design also reflects the exterior as the majority of the interior walls are white, providing a modern feel. I admire the use of colour that highlights specific elements within the building.
Bright color is used to create contrast with light and shadow while still keeping it clean and simple.
Teeple Architects have successfully created a dynamic urban form that celebrates the environment with its green-friendly initiatives.
I recommend checking out the impressive body of work by Teeple Architects.
Photos courtesy of Teeple Architects.
Researched and written by Narmeen Gorail, Undergraduate student of Environmental Design, OCAD University.