Oben Flats St. Clair West

Located proximate to the major intersection of Bathurst Street and St. Clair Avenue in midtown Toronto, Oben Flats St. Clair West complements the many existing mid-rise apartment buildings in the area, intensifying this neighbourhood that is increasingly popular with families, young adults, empty nesters and seniors. The building includes fifty-one residential rental units varying in size from 580 to 1,225 square feet.

Although it reaches a full nine storeys in height, the top two floors are set back considerably to reduce massing in deference to the neighbourhood fabric. The main portion of the building is wrapped in dark brick, creating a handsome monolithic form which is then carved to create glazed openings and inset balconies. To further minimize impact to the site, parking is accommodated below grade.

The primary challenge was to design great living spaces for all residents, providing them with direct access to sunlight and views while maximizing the development potential of this relatively restrictive 78’ x 130’ site. The design resolves this by shaping the building in an unconventional way—both side walls inflect towards the core of the building to allow for openings deep in the plan. This simple gesture provides the deepest-set bedrooms with ample access to natural light and a view of the city.

A modestly sized lobby features a number of design elements that encourage lingering in a luxurious and contemporary space. The texture and warmth of walnut panelling and millwork figures prominently, as does an integrated fireplace in a partition wall, recalling the domestic qualities of hearth and family gathering. Accessible from the lobby, an outdoor amenity space replete with seating and soft planting augments the interior public space in warmer months, beckoning residents and visitors to enjoy some sun and fresh air.

Location: Toronto, ON
Size: 48,500 sf

Photos: Tom Arban