The new set of renders round out the details for the mixed-use King complex in the Canadian city, which BIG has designed for developers Allied and Westbank . It was revealed in 2016 , and gained zoning approval in 2018 .
Ingels describes King as a “boxilated landscape” and has nicknamed it Habitat 2.0 as a reference to Moshe Safdie’s cubed complex Habitat 67 in Montreal. Other portions of the complex are evocative of Pierre Chareau’s modernist Maison de Verre in Paris.
The images reveal interiors of the building as well as additional facade details that include glass bricks, greenhouse units and flat-roofed volumes, all covered in plants.
The glazed construction is chosen as a response to the area’s red brick buildings along the strip of King West.
“We wanted to have a dialogue with local materials,” BIG’s founder Bjarke Ingels said. “We tried all kinds of brick – red brick, yellow brick, black brick – and finally ended up with glass brick.”
“This translucency as well as the vegetation that will grow on exterior walls and terraces make the project porous to its surroundings,” he said. “And the building’s pixelation fed into the myriad floor plans that make up the interior compositions.”
The firm categorises King as a gesamtkunstwerk, a German term referencing the “holistic merging of architecture and art, of form, function and detail”.
Residences are formed from a series of “room-sized lego pieces” that are dedicated to different functions like relaxing, sleeping and outdoor areas.
Interiors were designed in-house and feature white and black surfaces alongside other metallic details. Among these is a light that BIG created with Artemide for all of the unit’s dining rooms, with claims that they improve the life of plants and residents alike.
BIG’s landscape department worked closely on the project to develop expertise in plant life, which involved studies in light exposure and soil retention.
“It’s very important, this holistic view of the project – the ability to coordinate and ‘masterise’ everything, from the architecture to the details,” Francesca Portesine, director of interiors at BIG.
Cabinetry in the units comes in three wood options, in addition to a corrugated textured glass with a mirrored backing. Floors are wood and terrazzo tiles with rhomboid shapes, resembling the project in a flattened form. Furniture is designed by B&B Italia in collaboration with BIG and Westbank.
The development includes eight penthouses – two on its south side and two on its west – that are called La Bibliothèque, The Treehouse, The Greenhouse and The Teahouse.
Details include large windows for ample natural light, rounded white walls, Scandinavian wood and brass surfaces. Other accents are indoor pools, plants, areas for meditation and private terraces that overlook the city and the project’s cascading roof terraces below.
One penthouse has a spiral staircase, an arched wine cellar, a double-height bookshelf and a sumac tree growing inside.
Corrugated concrete panels will feature on elevators in the lobby, and the building’s pool will be made of graphite and basalt, taking cues from Nordic design. The complex will also include cafes, shops and restaurants at its ground level.
A courtyard will be designed by Public Works, the studio behind Toronto’s park project The Bentway .
King joins a wave of building developments in Toronto, including The Bentway park and plans for a Sidewalk Lab neighbourhood .
A host of well-known architecture firms have also recently unveiled new structures for the city, including Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners , 3XN , Diller Scofidio + Renfro , Studio Gang and Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill .
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