Toronto Musée Condos | 53.95m | 17s | Plaza | BDP Quadrangle

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Latest story:
As residents continue moving in to Plaza's Musée Condos, public realm improvements are adding to the street-level environment surrounding the 17-storey Quadrangle Architects-designed condominium. Along the Adelaide Street West frontage of the building's seven-storey podium, two retail spaces are currently for lease, and will eventually add a commercial presence to the street level.
 
Not a suitable clearance for what is supposed to be a gateway into a park space. Even for the sake of a strong retail experience, the ground floor height should be higher, but especially for the sake of the walkway. I'm sure Quadrangle wanted that and Plazacorp resisted the additional cost, but the result is weak.
 
Not a suitable clearance for what is supposed to be a gateway into a park space. Even for the sake of a strong retail experience, the ground floor height should be higher, but especially for the sake of the walkway. I'm sure Quadrangle wanted that and Plazacorp resisted the additional cost, but the result is weak.

Plaza tends to really struggle in that regard. Can name countless projects with WTF? ground floors.
 
I've seen retail that engages and retail that feels cold and inviting at all types of ceiling heights. The walkway should be higher unless it leads to The Shire with welcoming Hobbits.
 
The City does not mandate minimum ground floor heights: that's an issue. All of the fights over height should also include a 5 metre minimum ground floor height, (or pick a number that suits you, but something higher than 3, anyway) on any street that's going to have retail frontage.

That said, I'm not against the occasional low passageway, and this one looks like it's going to be visually engaging despite its lack of height. Frank Lloyd Wright used compression of space in some areas, more often corridors, so that when you turned a corner and entered into an expansive room, the expansion of space would be even more impressive.

I'm not saying that's what's behind the design here though. Here it's all about the City putting a limit on the height of the building without demanding a minimum at ground level at the same time.

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Update:
With Plaza's Musée Condos now all but completed, we take a retrospective look at the construction process for the 17-storey Quadrangle-designed building.
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A couple of photos of the public space area (POPS) now under construction. Work had been stopped for several months - issues between the contractor, Plaza Corp, and the designer. My understanding is that contractor's position was basically that the area could not be built as designed (which probably meant that it could not be built at a cost they could afford..), which caused some back and forth iterations between the developer and the designer until they came up with an agreed design that was feasible. Work is now back underway.

Two photos with slightly different view of the current state of the area - one of which has a partial finger selfie in a corner - my apologies.

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Two photos with slightly different view of the current state of the area - one of which has a partial finger selfie in a corner - my apologies.

Technically both have them :)
 
Still not completed, but much progress recently on the courtyard. Three sightly different perspectives, Friday morning, September 29:

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Yesterday late afternoon:

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