Oben Flats | SherbourneToronto, Ontario
The latest in a series of collaborations between superkül and developer Oben Flats, this 14-storey 94-unit rental apartment building is located in the heart of downtown Toronto at the corner of Sherbourne and Gerrard Streets. The project is sited diagonally opposite Allan Gardens, one of the oldest parks in the city – the highlight of which is a much-loved historic cast-iron-and-glass conservatory housing rare tropical plants from around the world.
Contextually responsive to its neighbourhood conditions, the building features a brick base that echoes the materiality of the surrounding Victorian homes and apartments, while precast concrete defines the upper portion. Extensive shadow studies were conducted to minimize impact on the park and neighbouring residents, which determined sequential setbacks and the terraced form of the building. A significant amount of outdoor space results from these setbacks in the form of generous roof terraces: similarly, balconies are included for nearly every apartment unit, providing all residents individual access to natural light, fresh air, and direct views of the city. Further to this, angled exterior walls for each unit on the north elevation channel views toward the bucolic tranquility of Allan Gardens, contributing a sculptural surface texture and rhythm to the façade.
A variety of unit sizes ranging from one-bedroom to three-bedroom units will attract a diversity of tenants: families, singles and couples of all ages and ethnicities. A gym on the second floor promotes fitness for residents, and a third-floor party room allows more space for residents and guests to socialize beyond the confines of their individual apartments. Underground parking for 41 vehicles is accessed from the rear drive to the south.
As with the other projects that superkül has designed for the client, this apartment building is meant to convey a feeling of urban luxury: a dramatic six-metre-tall double-height entry lobby is highly visible from the street, and features interior design fixtures and finishes reminiscent of a plush boutique hotel. Along with the generous dimensions, the attention to detail in this ground-floor space is intended to create a social condenser for the variety of tenants that will occupy the building, encouraging personal interaction and the organic development of community.