Six50 King Street is a 16-story, 233-unit residential condominium that demonstrates the capacity for architectural innovation within the constraints of well-known building typologies for domestic use.
In a city that is composed mostly of a normative “fabric” of buildings with a few notable landmark exceptions, it follows that the invigoration of the typical unassuming building is crucial to the ongoing vitality of the city. The building is wrapped in a glass skin that provides for both large floor-to-ceiling panes as well as operable vents in a well-considered architectural pattern. The glazing telegraphs its totality as a glass surface while suggesting the interiority of its individual identities and domestic inhabitation.
Like many other buildings of its kind, Six50 “toes the line” on its streetscape. It features a six-story podium built to the edge of the sidewalk. The remaining stories above the podium are adjusted and set back according to the city’s guidelines. The Central King West neighborhood in which it is located boasts one of Canada’s most storied collections of heritage 5-story brick warehouses. Six50 literally builds on its industrial-era antecedent and preserves the street-front increment of its site.
This LEED registered project features a green roof and adds significantly to the ongoing gentrification of Central King West. Its 233 residential condominium units provide much-needed downtown housing in a compact 16-story form factor.
The L-shaped design, with its interconnected towers wrapping around the historic properties at the corner of King and Bathurst, provides an elegant design solution to the developer’s economic and aesthetic needs. In this regard, Six50 is a remarkable accomplishment. It is a green high-rise tower built according to the regulatory framework imposed on sites located on main arterial city streets.
At the same time Six50 King Street achieves much more than the adherence to city planning guidelines and preservation of a heritage site. Six50 contributes to contemporary design and urban culture by exploring one of architecture’s compelling visions. This building references the early modernists’ fascination with green gardens in the sky, channeling diverse sources such as LeCorbusier’s Redents block and Frank Lloyd Wright’s slender towers for Broadacre City. Six50 offers a particularly poignant image of a tower of terraces with verdant greenery dripping over the edges.