The attention that’s being devoted to designing the exterior of condominiums today is remarkable.
In addition to architecture that creates stunning silhouettes on Toronto’s skyline from a distance, these buildings include architectural details and landscaping that make them both beautiful and memorable up close. This magic is the result of innovative developers who are enlisting internationally renowned building and landscape architects, as well as sculptors — many of whom are based in Toronto — to help make their vision come to life. And we all benefit from their enhancing of our city - residents live in buildings with character and enhanced value, and
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Toronto’s streetscapes become more and more appealing as landmark condominiums add their charm.
Landscaping, in particular, is gorgeous nowadays. Far from throwing in a few shrubs, builders today go to great lengths to add courtyards, parks, rooftop gardens and any number of other natural spaces that invite residents to indulge in nature and add greening to the streetscape. Plant materials are chosen carefully to complement the setting and flourish in the appropriate light/shade conditions. The condominium landscaping in Toronto is having a tremendous impact on the urban environment, similar to a European city.
Gardens are often a work of art. I recall one condominium at which an artist working with a well-known landscape architect designed a courtyard garden so that the colourful plantings evoked the outline of a leaf when you looked down from the suites.
We’re also seeing more sculptures being incorporated into condominium design, both outside the buildings and in lobbies. In fact, some developers are installing juried artwork, sometimes as part of the building itself.
And speaking of the actual building, another interesting aspect that is adding character and value to condominiums is the preserving of existing heritage building façades when possible.
For one, 100 Yorkville comes to mind, where the historic façade of the original Mount Sinai Hospital is being incorporated into the ground level. This practice makes condominiums more distinctive — takes them from buildings to landmarks in an innovative way, and seamlessly integrates them into their surroundings.
With these exquisitely appointed condominiums rising across the city, Toronto continues to attract visual interest, and condominium owners benefit from the exterior architecture and landscaping that enhance the value of their home.
Pat Baker is CEO of Baker Real Estate Corporation. Visit www.baker-re.com.